When it comes to true technological revolutions, there haven’t been many. Yes, there’s the Industrial Revolution and the current Information Age, but we are headed toward a new one—the Automation of Everything. That’s the gospel according to Nokia CTO, Bell Labs pres Marcus Weldon. For a revolution to occur, you have to not only invent the technology, but then connect it using networks and then the tech actually change society and economies. His CableTec-Expo keynote was all about how we are on the verge of such change—an insight from his book “The Future X Networks.” “The winners will win big. The losers will lose or be consumed by winners,” he said. The good news is that cable is in a good place because it’s local, and it can federate with other cable operators to be pseudo global, Weldon said. “We think the future is nothing like today,” he said, forecasting a world where all mundane tasks can be automated. Which applications are going to matter in the future? “The ones that save people time,” he said. To do all this, you have to think about the speed of light… In one millisecond, it can go 100 kilometers per second. Today, networks are built for 100 milliseconds, but that has to change for the latency of tomorrow, said Weldon. The only way to achieve the future is to build networks within 100 kilometers of the end user, the exec said. And that’s where the local power of cable comes in, with its network in the neighborhoods it serves.

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