MBONE: Multicasting Tomorrow's Internet
Today, the MBONE is a critical piece of the technology that's needed to make multiple-person data, voice, and video conferencing on the Internet -- in fact, sharing any digital information -- cheap and convenient.
Internet researcher John December says, "MBONE is truly the start of mass-communication that may supplant television. Used well, it could become an important component of mass communication."
How so? December thinks that a number of scenarios are possible: The culture of the MBONE may develop like the e-zine (electronic magazine) culture, eventually giving rise to hundreds of "channels" of programming. Some channels would be professionally produced; others would be quirky homebrew channels.
Another possibility is that organizations will adopt MBONE as a low-cost way to conduct meetings without all the expenses of telecom-equipped conference rooms. Smaller, informal organizations could use MBONE as well as large companies, because MBONE would be controlled personally, not commercially. Certainly, both of these MBONE scenarios, and others, could co-exist.
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