“After Broadband” Report Released

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Wharton Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics Kevin Werbach, a co-organizer of the After Broadband workshop
Wharton Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics Kevin Werbach, a co-organizer of the After Broadband workshop

Now that broadband Internet access is widely available in the United States, what comes next? What business models and policy initiatives will help move beyond broadband to a hyperconnected world? To tackle these questions, the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Institute for the Future (IFTF) are pleased to announce the release of After Broadband: Imagining Hyperconnected Futures, a report based on a high-level experts workshop earlier this year, at http://afterbroadband.com.

“Broadband today suffers from a failure of the imagination. We won’t get the networks needed to support tomorrow’s applications until we envision what those applications will be,” said Wharton professor Kevin Werbach, a co-organizer.

The day-long workshop brought together business leaders, researchers, technical experts, entrepreneurs, and futurists at Wharton’s San Francisco campus for a deep dive into eight specific domains: Management, Operations and Analytics; Communications and Collaboration; Education and Learning; Commerce, Identity and Security; Health, Well-Being and Life Management; Creation and Production; Social, Home and Community Life; and Entertainment. Guided by expert IFTF facilitators, the participants developed scenarios and identified six critical challenges that must be addressed.

“IFTF was delighted to collaborate with the Wharton School on this event where experts vigorously debated both the technical and social implications of a broad range of futures such as adaptive software defined networks, fragmented special function Internet Protocol networks, isolated large geographic internets, embedded and mobile swarm networks, linked supercomputing clouds, and the spiraling cyber security arms race,” said Mike Liebhold, co-organizer and IFTF Distinguished Fellow. “We hope this report serves to elevate and support the public discourse on the future of our communications systems.”

The workshop report, written by IFTF Distinguished Fellow Richard Adler and based on the contributions of over 40 leading experts, offers insights on topics including:

• The deployment of gigabit connections

• Mobile broadband and wireless sensor networks

• Big data and the cloud

• The tidal waves of streaming video and social networking

• Changes in user behavior and interfaces

The After Broadband website at http://afterbroadband.com includes a downloadable version of the report, materials from the workshop, and video interviews with selected participants. “Broadband is a critical foundation for both business and daily life as we move deeper into the 21st century,” said Werbach. “This report is one of the first to offer an independent, forward-looking perspective on where we’re going and how to get there.”


About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates ongoing economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and a powerful alumni network of 91,000 graduates.

About the Mack Center

 The Mack Center for Technological Innovation is a research center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, that functions as a multidisciplinary learning network for business leaders, academic researchers, and students. The Mack Center’s research community studies how firms compete, survive, and succeed in the face of innovation.

About IFTF

IFTF is an independent, non-profit research organization with a 44-year track record of helping all kinds of organizations make the futures they want. Our core research staff and creative design studio work together to provide practical foresight for a world undergoing rapid change. Among our research staff are experienced forecasters representing a range of disciplines from the social sciences, public policy, and technical domains.