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The Sustainable Network by Sarah Sorensen

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Chapter 7. The Mobile Me

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Dr. Seuss

Ubiquitous connectivity is the dream of the sustainable network. “Anywhere access” to the world’s information resources enables you to touch everything, at any time, from anywhere. It opens up a world of possibilities we have only dreamed about and seen in sci-fi movies and books. Mobility allows the network to overcome the constraints of being tied to a specific location (as with a modem line), and actually lets you take your connections with you wherever you go.

It’s also fueling the network’s extension to parts of the globe previously locked out because of the lack of physical infrastructure (such as phone cabling) available to support access. In many parts of the world, the infrastructure is simply not there, but a cell tower can be erected and all of a sudden the population is connected—they now have unprecedented access to the world’s resources. It’s because of this ability to infiltrate all corners of the globe that mobility amplifies the network’s flattening effects. It makes no difference whatsoever whether you’re in Mumbai, India, or Mobile, Alabama. The same resources are available to you no matter who you are or where you’re located. This helps explain the direct correlation between strong GDP growth and the growth of mobile subscribers in developing countries.

Microsoft’s ...

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