Thinking Tech

Symantec's CEO has a few ideas for Google's new fiber network

Posting in Cities

Symantec CEO Enrique Salem outlines his thoughts on how to take advantage of Google's new gigabit fiber network.

Google’s working on a gigabit network in Kansas City (in Kansas and Missouri), but what do we need all that bandwidth for anyway? Symantec CEO Enrique Salem has some ideas. Here are a few he put forth in a recent interview with the Kansas City IT Professionals (KCITP) organization.

1. A place where everybody knows your name

Invoking the once-popular sitcom Cheers, Salem noted that greater bandwidth could enable applications that allow a business to recognize consumers when they walk in the door and offer personalized service. For example, imagine entering a hotel and instantly having that hotel know your status as a guest, where your room is, and how you’re paying for your reservation. Geographic awareness combined with instant communication would require a lot of connected parts, and, as a result, a lot of bandwidth.

2. New ways of organizing data

We’re producing a lot of data, and we’re producing it fast. According to Salem, data volumes are rising more than 60% every year, and we need new ways to sort and filter it. That’s an opportunity in the making, but only if we have the infrastructure to support massive computational processing and data transfer. A gigabit network is a good start.

3. Privacy and security

The more we connect everything together, the more we need to pay attention to the privacy implications. On the back of new personalization services and big data applications, big bandwidth will have to support a new class of security technologies. Salem believes security, privacy and reputation management will all be big business in the gigabit future.

From a broader perspective, Salem is betting that Google’s new fiber network will draw a lot of start-ups to the Kansas City area. If so, they should think about setting up shop soon. Google says it's making good progress, and that its fiber rollout is now in "full swing".

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Photo: Google Fiber Blog

Mari Silbey

Contributing Editor

Mari Silbey is an independent tech writer based in Washington, D.C. With a background in cable and telecom, she's a contributor to several trade publications, and part of the GigaOM analyst network. She also writes for the long-running digital media blog Zatz Not Funny, and has written for both corporate and association clients focused on broadband networks, mobile apps, and video delivery. She's a graduate of Duke University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure