The internet is a remarkable technology considering its role in so many new inventions that have become a feat of technology and modernization of technology. The internet is not only an incredible thing in itself but has also the traits to act as a catalyst in many existing gadgets and technologies to make them more efficient, smart, modern, and subsequently cost-effective. This is not a far-fetched statement as the vast fields of applications that the internet stockpiles were witnessed in their full glory during the time of the pandemic.
The year 2020 was nothing less than a disaster for humanity in general which saw the worst medical catastrophe of modern times that we witnessed in the shape of the COVID-19 outbreak. This pandemic was not only a health hazard but soon proved to be devastating for all fields of life alike.
Role of the Internet During the Pandemic
As a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the virus, every place was closed down where there was even a chance of physical interaction. This resulted in the closure of offices, businesses, schools, and practically every other financial, educational, or entertainment hub except for medical facilities. So as a result, many people became unemployed, inflation soared to the sky, and students’ educational careers were at risk. In these bleak times, the internet offered its services to humanity by offering a digital channel that replaced all these physical activities with its digital counterparts.
This trend resulted in many practices like work from home, online classes, e-commerce and digital avenues of entertainment like streaming services take the center stage. Although these practices were not new to us, the pandemic made these things were our only option to survive and perform day-to-day activities. This was an instance that made people realize how powerful of a tool internet was.
Early Telecommunication Devices
The internet manifested itself into a number of tools and technologies that further allowed it to penetrate different walks of life. And the amount of influence and change that the internet brought into the field of communication is unparalleled in any other field. At the beginning of the field of telecommunication, there were devices like telegrams that were used to send messages across large distances. However, all this changed with the invention of the telephone.
It was the first device in history that allowed the human voice to be transmitted over large distances, and that too in real-time. The telephone was a technology that enjoyed a century-long success with little to no competition and it was only two decades back that humans invented the mobile phone technology which is now gradually replacing the telephone.
Internet and the Modern Home Phone
However, another example of the fluid adaptability of the internet is its crucial role in home phone technology. The internet has breathed a new life into this dying medium of communication through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology that has equipped the traditional home phone with many modern features making it at par with any modern cellphone but at a much lower cost. Many internet service providers now offer these VoIP home phone services to residential customers. One such provider is Suddenlink. Suddenlink phone plans are extremely affordable and provide unlimited local and long-distance calling along with many advanced features for customers at a very low and fixed price per month. Apart from Suddenlink many other service providers also offer VoIP home phone services and these phones are just one example of how the internet has influenced the communication industry.
Role of the Internet in the Communication Sector
The Internet has revolutionized how the telecom industry works, there are many fields in the telecom sector itself that the internet has changed for the better. In the below-mentioned list, we are going to take a look at some of those communication avenues which the internet has modernized.
VoIP and the Telephone
We have also talked briefly about the internet’s inclusion in the traditional home phone however, let’s dwell deep into it and see how this technology works and how the internet has made it even better. The traditional telephone used to work through the transmission of electric signals over copper lines which spanned large regions through telephone poles. The analog voice signals were transmitted over these lines and due to its complex infrastructure the cost was high, especially in international calling.
The internet reformed the transmission infrastructure and made it simple by converting it into digital form. The Voice over Internet Protocol is a technique that converts analog voice signals into digital data packets which are then sent over the internet to the receiver. The use of the internet as a transmission medium has effectively eliminated the use of cables and poles thus bringing down the cost while improving the quality and adding features like conference calling, call blocking/forwarding, call waiting among many other modern options that weren’t possible before due to limited technology.
Social Media and News
Today everyone is updated about their surroundings and overall world news thanks to social media. Gone are those days when people were stuck to their TV screens early in the morning to get news for the previous day, and when that news would be telecasted it would already have been obsolete. However, today in the age of social media everything that is happening all around the globe is being communicated to the users of these social media platforms. No matter what happens even in the remotest corner of the world people are aware of it, thanks to social media. Social media has given tools to every regular user through which they can get their word across the world, all you need is an internet connection and a smart device, and you can remain connected to the world of social media absolutely free of cost.
Another incredible feat of the internet in the telecom sector is the introduction of video calling. Before the internet, there were only two basic types of communication techniques. These were either through voice or in textual forms. However, after the inclusion of the internet, there was another type of communication technology that allowed users to see each other in real-time while talking across long distances, this gave them an extra sense of immersion while speaking with their loved ones. This was the video conferencing technology, something which has become quite normal and heavily used. Video conferencing technology has been quite helpful lately, when during the pandemic work meetings and online classes were being conducted through this medium.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the internet has toppled the communication industry on its head. It has completely transformed how people perceive long-distance communication in only two decades. People wouldn’t even think about technologies like social media and video calling just 20 years back. This is the level of transformation the internet has created in such a short time, being nothing less than a wonder.