Futurescaping infinite bandwidth, zero latency

Bell, Simon and Walker, Steve (2011). Futurescaping infinite bandwidth, zero latency. Futures, 43(5) pp. 525–539.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2011.01.011


In the 1990s Castells analysed ‘the rise of the network society’ but this remains an ever-changing phenomenon. It throws up new concepts and issues. For example, no one foresaw what Mark Zuckerberg would create in terms of on-line social networks with the FaceBook project. Predicting the functionality and utility of the Internet is a mug's game and yet it can be extremely profitable for those who ‘guess right’ and are able to influence the future applications and organisational forms of the network society.

Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband is promoted strongly by policy makers as underpinning future economic growth. NGA can be thought of as a potential future placeholder, the content and structure of which, while remaining tantalizing, is occupying many contemporary minds. In this paper we describe a process (Imagine/Triple Task Method) and an event structure IBZL (or Infinite Bandwidth Zero Latency), which explores potentially novel applications of NGA and provide some ideas as to the key components of the future inter-networked landscape.

In this paper we present the context of the IBZL initiative, review the ‘Imagine’ process as an effective method for ‘futurescaping’ and present some initial outcomes of the project.

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