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INTERNET: THE NEW FRONTIER
With the general public's ability to access the World Wide Web, a universe of infinite knowledge became available to anyone within a keyboard's reach. No longer just a play ground for scientists and government personnel, today's users cross traditional occupational barriers and are comprised primarily of the upscale educated, and professional. By the end of 1998, there were over 100 million people surfing the Internet, with subscriber demand increasing at a tremendous rate.
The multimedia applications afforded by the web are enormous. Users can select from live and real-time TV and radio, graphics, text documents, photographs, and on-line discussion rooms; all transmitted via ordinary telephone service. This is obviously having an explosive impact on traditional media. Due to its non-linear, random access capabilities, users have the ability to interact with any number of applications, at any time, from anywhere in the world. Technology has catapulted communications to a new dimension, making standard media outlets a part of the past. Internet broadcasting in the 21st century will make television, as we now know it, obsolete.
"The Internet will have greater influence on the lives of both consumers and workers than the telephone and television combined. The consumer will use Internet information services for everything from movie and restaurant reviews to finding jobs and even plumbers. Three-fourths of catalog shopping will have moved to the Internet. On the business side, virtually all commerce will be conducted over the Internet, but the market will now be international rather than local or national...Finally, with increased bandwidth, prime time entertainment will now have to contend with Internet offerings on such a vast scale that TV and radio properties will lose significant value."
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