What if COVID struck in 2005: A Tribute to Digital Networks

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What if the pandemic had happened in the early 2000s instead of now? How would we have coped without the mature and robust global digital network of today?

What if COVID struck in 2005: A Tribute to Digital Networks
The network of the 2000s

As I type out this blog on my laptop, simultaneously listening to music on my smartphone with both devices connected to high-speed fibre broadband, I am struck by just how lucky we are to have these facilities during the ongoing pandemic. Life as we know it would not have been even remotely imaginable a mere 15-16 years in the past when the internet was a shell of what it would become.

Trip Down Memory Lane: A Time Before Mature Digital Networks

Let’s go back to the year 2005. Things were different then. Only about 25 million of India’s population had access to a broadband connection. Speeds were sluggish and prohibitive for any intensive tasks. Youtube had only just been invented and Facebook was only available in the USA. The iPhone was still two years away from being invented and e-commerce was in its nascency.

It would be five more years before the government would auction the 3G and 4G spectrums, setting up a robust wireless broadband market. The deployment of FTTH (Fiber To The Home) would also only start becoming widespread at that juncture.

Our Changed Reality: The Era of Global Digital Connectivity

Our Changed Reality: The Era of Global Digital Connectivity

The scenario today is almost entirely unrecognizable from back in 2005. The number of internet users in our country has grown exponentially to around 650 million people. We have access to high-speed optical fibre broadband, smartphones, social media and an inexhaustible supply of online entertainment. We’re able to stay connected with friends and family through WhatsApp and FaceTime. Working from home, which would’ve been unthinkable only a few years ago is now made possible with the advent of video conferencing apps such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. The most significant development is perhaps the accessibility we are now afforded to health services. Needing to visit your doctor in person is a thing of the past. Now, all it takes is for you to make an online payment and voila! A doctor is present in front of you, diagnosing you through video calling capabilities and prescribing medications that you can order on a mobile app.

All this is made possible because of financial and regulatory changes that allowed for FTTH – and more broadly FTTx (Fiber to the x) – to replace copper networks laid down since before the turn of the century. This, in turn, gives rise to a healthy, interconnected network of people and their devices across the globe which instantly share vast amounts of information bilaterally.

The Road Ahead: Digital Transformation Through Digital Networks

The Road Ahead: Digital Transformation Through Digital Networks

As the world starts to see light at the end of the tunnel that has been the pandemic, we can start looking forward to what the future of digital networks might bring.

Digital Transformation can simply be described as the incorporation of digital technology into businesses to transform the everyday lives of people. This process which was already underway well before the COVID-19 outbreak has had to be kicked into high gear ever since the pandemic hit. This is where STL Tech comes in. Boasting a 25-year legacy in optical connectivity, STL can stake a claim as being a leading global digital networks integrator. STL’s proven capabilities span products such as Optical Interconnect, Virtualised Access Solutions, Network Software and System Integration. This unique specialisation along with STL’s commitment towards building the Next-Gen Digital Network means it’s well on its way to achieving its ultimate goal of bringing affordable internet to all.

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