American broadband connections are coming of age. If you think the Internet is ubiquitous now, you just ain't seen nothin' yet.
Back in 1996, I had to slog it over to my university's computer labs in order to connect to the Internet. I'm told that the entire campus shared a single dial-up connection at the time, capable of 56 kilobits per second, so massive lag was a simple fact of life. But hardly anybody else used the 'net anyway, so I was still able to do my research, play some games, and meet my future wife online. Even us early adopters had hardly even heard of broadband connections.
What's new in cyberspace?
A fresh report from Entropy Economics shows that those days are long gone and soon forgotten. Over the past decade, the average Internet connection has moved from a simple 28.8 kbps dial-up modem to cable modems, DSL connections, and even wireless broadband plans with an average 2.4 megabits per second of torrential bandwidth. That's nearly 100 times faster in just 10 years.
My own 20 mbps connection through Verizon
Entropy points out that an ever-growing number of consumer devices now practically beg for broadband connectivity. Apple
The investing lessons learned
A hyperconnected nation -- and world -- creates entirely new business models. Netflix
It's also obviously good for network equipment sellers. Market leader Cisco Systems
We've come a long way from dial-up, baby. Just prepare to be blown away by the next 10 years.
Further hyperconnected Foolishness:
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google and Netflix, but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. He just celebrated his 12th wedding anniversary, and would never have met his wife without that clunky old computer lab. You can check out Anders' holdings or a bio if you like. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.