By AUDREY PERRY
The Internet has broken time and place barriers, vice president of Cisco systems Douglas Allred told MBA students Friday.
Allred is the senior vice president of Customer Advocacy, Worldwide Systems, Support and Services for Cisco Systems. Cisco is the leading global supplier of internetworking solutions for corporate intranets and the global Internet.
Allred said it is estimated that by the year 2005 over one billion people will be using the Internet.
“The Internet revolution is no less significant than the industrial revolution. The only difference is that the Internet revolution will happen ten times faster,” he said.
The Internet is a global equalizer, Allred said. Knowledge, not national resources, will impact competition between nations.
Despite the number of people getting online everyday, the Internet will eventually hit a barrier restricting its growth, Allred said.
This barrier is the large number of illiterate and under-educated people in the world, Allred said. In China, for example, 80 percent of the 1.3 billion people live in rural areas and have an average of a seventh-grade education level. He said that in order for these people to find a use for the Internet, the methods of their education will have to be dramatically changed.
Allred said the world is still in the infancy of the Internet revolution, but it will soon have an Internet economy.
“The world is changing dramatically,” he said. “Big doesn’t beat small anymore — fast beats slow.”
“One Internet year equals seven regular years … The Internet is doubling in traffic every 100 days,” he said.
Allred said the Internet will soon affect almost everything.
“In five years, everything you use essentially will be connected to the Internet in one way or another. Its not just your computer or e-mail anymore, its everything,”
Telephones, television, music, microwaves and other things will all be connected to the Internet, he said.
Allred said consumers will soon be able to place orders for a product through their televisions during a commercial and microwaves will be able to download cooking instructions for products from the manufacturer and automatically cook food.