RealTime IT News

Internet Creep

The Internet is alive and well. Readers of internetnews.com know that but it's nice to see the financial press is turning slightly positive about surviving Internet stocks...with good reason.

The evidence is piling up that the Internet made it possible for many new business models to succeed. Amazon.com thrives and now has a market cap proportionately greater than Wal-Mart's. eBay defies gravity and is becoming a business-to-business bazaar at the same time it is a champion for all things consumer. Increasingly, research is showing that Americans use the Net for news, stock information, insurance rates, sports reports, and just about any other topic you can name.

Suddenly, many of the wild Internet predictions of the late 1990s are starting to look substantive. Television viewing and cable viewing are down while Internet usage is up. The Internet has greater annual ad revenues than radio. These trends can mean only one thing: offline media properties have seen their best valuations. A relentless Internet creep is slowly but surely overtaking all aspects of everyday shopping and information life.

Internet creep will accelerate with the rise of an emerging trend: digital ubiquity. The Internet will always be "on" as people switch to net-connected devices. From mobile phones to PDAs to tablet and mini-sized computers, the Internet will be ubiquitous.

The growth of 802.11- or Wi-Fi-enabled devices is one reason for this trend. America has 3,000 public hotspots today, but 4 million hotspots is a certainty within five years! Improvements to the 802.11 standard are being rolled out every few months and Intel and other chipmakers are rushing out new chips to drive Wi-Fi growth. Each version increases the speed of the wireless Internet, opening a path to the broadband Holy Grail: movies, music and anything else at warp speeds.

So there you have it. The Internet is slowly chipping away at traditional media properties. Right behind it comes 802.11 technology with a relentless attack on telecom and other forms of communication.

Stay tuned.