Not so, says Forbes staffer Russell Flannery. However logjams do happen in the best-regulated networks when too much data flows through at the same time. He believes it is “extremely important” for China to face up to potential problems in its mobile communication systems, before its traditional information landscape succumbs to web lock when the system slows.
Micro Communication Becoming Mainstream
China’s 650 million internet users are almost 22% of the global total and growing. The director of the Institute of Journalism and Communications Tang Xujun says “the pace at which traditional media looks for new models and integration with new media will also be accelerated“. It has to be, unless web lock is to overtake China’s efforts to maintain control over what is happening on the internet locally.
Is the IoT Contributing to Risk of Web Lock?
The internet of things has to be adding weight. By 2020, there will be 50 billion digitally connectable devices on the planet exchanging data with their manufacturers, operators and other devices potentially anywhere on earth. The majority of these now embed in equipment in our flats and houses, including the domestic appliances appearing increasingly in Chinese homes.
If they were to activate simultaneously the centre would not hold and web lock could be with us in a nano second. What is China doing about this?
China is Gearing Up
The Chinese State Council is aware of the risk of web lock especially in rural areas, and plans to install the world’s largest cable network serving 200 million homes. Progress with this ambitious project has been slow to date. Beijing Premier Li Keqiang has issued a sharp rebuke to existing operators that are slow in making their services faster.
The race is on, with the internet of things the potential joker in the pack. I am not placing bets which is first across the line, technology or web lock.