Why Software Defined Networks and WiFi 2.0 are critical to future of Internet

Bill St. Arnaud, Weblog, Jan 12, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Interesting post that's pretty technical but well worth the read. Bill St. Arnaud argues that Software Defined Networks (SDN) and WiFi 2.0 will become increasingly important to the future of the internet. On the way to this argument is a discussion of 'carrier mindset' - a focus by hardware manufacturers on the needs of large carriers. "Most of Canada’s high tech companies like Nortel, RIM, Alcatel-Lucent (Newbridge), etc are struggling or have gone under because they pursued this market." Their marketing, suggests Arnaud, is through the carriers, rather than directly to consumers. But because Canadian carriers were (and are) more profitable (because of market protections, says Arnaud) they have not innovated, and so the hardware vendors were not competitive on the worldwide market. WiFi 2.0 and SDN are two examples of this sort of innovation. I don't totally agree with the argument (there are other reasons as well for the Canadian companies' difficulties) but I'm certainly interested in the innovation.
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