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Second Life founder: fast UK broadband key for Web 2.0 take up

John-Paul Kamath

The roll-out of fibre-based broadband will be essential for the UK to run the next generation of web applications, the founder of Second Life said today.

Philip Rosedale, creator of the virtual world Second Life, said there was a very real danger that the take up of next-generation web applications by businesses and consumers could be stunted for want of fast fibre-based broadband.

He said the maturity of applications such as YouTube and Second Life that people run on the web today is down to the increase in internet speeds since the late 90s.

Rosedale said that there will be a need for a faster broadband as more multimedia-rich internet applications become available.

At the beginning of this month, Ed Richards, CEO of Ofcom, announced that the telecoms regulator would study the practicalities of rolling out fibre-based broadband and said that current broadband may be insufficient to support the future needs of businesses.

"[Current broadband] is fine today for many uses, but perhaps less so in future with the growth of home working, peer-to-peer traffic and the needs of small and medium-sized businesses," said Richards.

Richards said the growth in usage of services such as the iPlayer was bringing more users into contact with their ISP's policies on restricting bandwidth usage.

"In the longer term, it may be that some consumers will be willing to pay a premium for higher download limits and higher speeds," he said.




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