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Ten Uses for National Broadband

6. The cloud becomes a reality

Cloud computing is gaining traction, but for many it is just a concept. With pervasive connections into the cloud, a new vision might emerge – one where most companies and home users are connected to a remote data center in major cities, acting as a “fifth utility” to coincide with power, gas, phone, and water. In this model, all data — and apps — would live in the cloud.

7. Widespread power management

Microsoft Hohm and Google PowerMeter are examples of what can happen when the Internet connects to the power grid. When every house in a city has extremely fast access, there may even be more possibilities. For example, green initiatives in a city could put one county against another in an effort to conserve power. Each house would be connected to the grid and to high-speed Internet so that you can pull up a chart that shows who is using the most power (on a voluntary basis, of course).

8. The videophone becomes standard

Since broadband is still not available for everyone, the videophone is still a distant dream. Sure, you can use Skype for video chat – but no companies have made a major splash with a hardware device that lets you make video calls. If everyone you know has broadband, you could dial any number and expect the other party to have fast enough Internet to talk over video. This could also lead to videophone standards so that you can video phones from different manufacturers are compatible.

9. DNA sequencing predicts your path

DNA sequencing is not new – companies such as 23andMe have offered it for years. You can submit your DNA to find out if you are susceptible to heart disease and other ailments. With widespread broadband, your DNA charts and predictions could be just a click away – and you could compare the results with everyone else in your family or against people with similar ancestry. Also, high-speed at a national level would mean everyone could keep a DNA back-up on the Web as well.

10. The vook replaces the book

A vook, or video book, is a book with rich content – videos and music that add to the experience. A great idea that requires a high-speed connection and a large user base, vooks have never really become commonplace — at least, not yet. If every US citizen has fast Internet, a vook could become a common way of reading and consuming information and enrich the reading experience.

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