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Celebrating Jersey's Digital Infrastructure on World Wide Web Day, By Tony Moretta

Posted: Thursday 1 August 2019

Last night I watched the latest episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee in HD on Netflix and downloaded a stack of audiobooks to listen to on my travels.

This morning I checked my calendar, which was synced across my phone, tablet and PC, read the Jersey Evening Post on the app, and got embroiled in a mini-debate about making data-driven decisions on Twitter.

In the background, as I got ready, the radio on my smart speaker kept me company, and I received a push notification from Amazon to let me know the latest tech gadget (that Mrs Moretta is adamant I don’t need) is now available at a reduced price and available for delivery tomorrow.

It’s all stuff I take for granted because, well, it’s the sort of thing I, and many others, do on a daily basis without giving it a second thought.

But, on World Wide Web Day, it’s perhaps a good time to take stock of the infrastructure so much of our lives rely on in Jersey. It’s infrastructure that really is the envy of the world, as we’re always reminded when we experience terrible download speeds when we go to UK.

We really are the most connected place on the planet, with the world’s first 100% fibre-to-premises ultra-fast broadband network, with upload and downloads speeds that are among the fastest in existence, recently confirmed in an online survey as 1stIn Europe and 3rdin World.

A guaranteed download speed of 250 megabits per second for every customer, with the availability of speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, are the result of a vision set out many years ago, delivered with skill and precision, and now enjoyed by tens of thousands of people every hour of every day.

This year marks 30 years since Tim Berners-Lee’s invention, the world wide web, went live. We’ve gone from no computers, to one per workplace operating at the speed of a snail, to having technology in our pockets and on our wrists with more processing power than that which landed man on the moon.

That’s progress!

When something happens by magic each day, we quickly forget how incredible it is. That’s my perception of our infrastructure in Jersey. Our fibre connectivity, our three 4G networks, and a further three IoT networks that are powering the Sandbox Jersey testbed proposition which is attracting researchers, entrepreneurs and start-ups from around the world.

Tim Berners-Lee’s invention was described as “vague but exciting” when he presented the concept to his boss at Cern in Switzerland, but 30 years and two billion websites later, it’s safe to say he’s changed all our lives (which is why you should look out for a room named after him in the soon to be relaunched Digital Jersey Hub).

Today, just for one day, notice how much you do is powered by Jersey’s incredible infrastructure. Notice the days of endless buffering have gone. Notice that what you want to do or know or get is, usually, at your fingertips.

Not bad for a small rock in the English Channel.

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