Part 2 – Viva la digital revolution!
Look back to the year 2000 and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the world wasn’t really that different. Didn’t we all have a mobile phone then, and surely everybody was using the internet at work or home. Well, apparently not. In the year 2000, only 25% of UK homes were connected to the internet while just 36% of people owned a mobile phone. Now, well over 90% of us have internet access at home, work and in the palm of our hand.
So why have things changed so much between then and now? The answer is accessibility.
At the turn of millennium the World Wide Web was a distant relative of the internet we know and love today. Cast your minds back and remember those glorious days when only 361 million users were clogging up the net. That’s less than a quarter of the amount of people with a Facebook account!
If you can, try to ignore those feelings of nostalgia and sentimentality for unattractive websites and ‘Website under construction’ GIFs and you’ll remember exactly why so few people were internet users. Because in 2000, the internet wasn’t actually that good. Well, compared to today it wasn’t anyway.
Most people were only able to access the internet using dial-up, which provided a unique and unforgettable experience. After clicking a link on AltaVista or Lycos or some other pre-Google search engine, you would have to listen to that distinctive screech as it loaded, before patiently watching as the page appeared in front of your eyes – one small section at a time.
As a result, people spent less time surfing the net. Especially when you consider that you were paying for it by the minute, and it meant that the other people in your house couldn’t use the phone. Nowadays, connectivity is at a new level which would have been beyond the wildest dreams of the 2000 internet user.
Online streaming of films and music, communal file sharing and software-as-a-service is now possible thanks to the increase in internet bandwidth. And more people are utilising this high-speed access from a wider variety of devices. The IT infrastructure is now in place to allow us to move, process and store huge amounts of data quickly, and we are making the most of it.
With great power comes great responsibility. And with all this data to manage, it requires an IT network that knows what it’s up against. In IT’s come a long way since 2000 Part 3 – we will cover the growing role that security software plays in the access-from-anywhere internet of today, and all the good and bad points of the information revolution.