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Infinite Bandwidth Zero Latency - IBZL2

Project leader(s): 
Steve Walker

IBZL is a thought experiment. It starts from the question: what if bandwidth (and latency) in networks like the internet didn't matter any more? What would become possible?

The capacity and speed of the internet and related networks has increased exponentially over the last 20 years but the change has come in steps, steps that have unleashed waves of innovation.

First generation broadband technology gave millions of users an ‘always-on’ connection to the net for the first time. This led to unforeseen, unanticipated and disruptive new applications like Wikipedia and YouTube.

Next generation broadband may similarly trigger a wave of disruptive applications, with the potential for almost unlimited bandwidth and radically reduced latency.

Can we imagine? Can we anticipate the sort of new applications and services that might develop? More importantly, what new technologies will become possible? 

The IBZL project has sought to identify new possibilities through positing a world with effectively infinite bandwidth and zero latency. IBZL tries to create the conditions to start that imagining process, and can contribute to thinking about the OU’s own work in such a world.


Related resources

Walker poster 'introduction' (PDF)

Walker poster 'how' (PDF)

Walker poster 'what' (PDF)

Walker poster 'outputs' (PDF)

Walker, S., Bell, S., Jackson, A. and Heery, D. (2012) Imagine real avatars and flying shepherds: involvement and engagement in generating innovative project ideas. In: 12th Participatory Design Conference, 14-16 August 2012, Roskilde, Denmark. (PDF)

Thomas, E., Walker, S., Richardson, P. (2012) What did the Romans ever do for us? 'Next generation' networks and hybrid learning resources. In: 8th International Conference on Networked Learning, 2-4 April 2012, Maastricht, Netherlands. (PDF)

Walker, S., Bell, S., Fensom, S., Straughan, K., (2011) The ‘Infinite Bandwidth, Zero Latency’ Project: inventing a digital future. In: IADIS International Conference: ICT, Society and Human Beings , 24-26 July 2011, Rome. (PDF)

S. Bell., S. Walker, Futures (2011), doi:10.1016/j.futures.2011.01.011 (PDF)