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The Stalled Evolution of Internet

The auto industry knows well how relying on Chinese manufacturers for chips was their Achilles heel. But theirs is not the only one that has been impacted by domestic shortages. Our internet relies on chip technology, as well. Without new chips, we cannot progress to the updated wireless LAN technology, Wi-Fi 6. 

Wi-Fi 6 is more desirable because it provides increased access point capacity, greater channel width, improved bandwidth sharing, wi-fi sleeping, and backward compatibility. If your job entails network security, you understand the benefits of these feature upgrades. 

Normally the lead time for chip delivery is up to four weeks. With ships still sitting out at sea waiting to be uploaded, the entire supply chain system has come to a standstill, with leads times up to six months conservatively speaking. 

Upgrading systems are now prioritized by customers with system failures. These are the emergency patients who receive care first. Those who simply want to make upgrades for better service or business expansion go to the back of the line. This practice has been put in place by many enterprise Wi-Fi vendors as a temporary solution to supply chain disruption. And even if your business is one with an emergency, you may only receive the minimal “care” to patch your system up for the time being. Do not expect your emergency to entitle you to a complete system overhaul. 

Communication with overseas vendors has revealed that most providers anticipate the problem will continue through the first half of 2022.

There are also rumors of an upcoming launch of the Starlink quantum internet, aka internet 2.0 which will use quantum computing connected via satellite transmission, a system completely free from our current cable internet system. Quantum computing is capable of incredible speeds which will easily surpass the capabilities of the latest Wi-Fi systems.

Quantum internet also promises greater security, as it is unhackable. If true, it could serve as the optimal platform for financial transactions provide protection from cyber security threats, and leave our current cable systems in the dust.

Quantum internet will also make way for holograms to become a regular form of media, much the way video dominates our current internet experience. Our existing computers will not be able to support the technology and speeds, so we are likely to see a gradual transition from our current internet to internet 2.0 as we learn the benefits of a faster, more secure system.

For the time being, we should expect internet disruption, as that is what we are being prepared for between Russia threatening to cut undersea cables near Norway and threats of cyber security hacks are on the rise. Our wars are no longer fought on the ground, they are battles of technology. Just thirty years ago, life would go on as usual without the internet and now systems would stop, break, and cause great economic despair. 

But the chip shortage is easily resolved by manufacturing chips in the United States. If manufacturers can quickly switch product manufacture to make ventilators, why isn’t the same true for chip manufacture in the United States? We are a nation that is much more capable than what we are currently manifesting.

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