The New York Times’ Tim Weiner on plans to construct a new Military net, providing a “God’s Eye In the Sky” :
The vision of the new web: war machines with a common language for all military forces, instantly emitting encyclopedias of lethal information against all enemies.
To realize this vision, the military must solve a persistent problem. It all boils down to bandwidth.
Bandwidth measures how much data can flow between electronic devices. Too little for civilians means a Web page takes forever to load. Too little for soldiers means the war net will not work.
The bandwidth requirements seem bottomless. The military will need 40 or 50 times what it used at the height of the Iraq war last year, a Rand Corporation study estimates – enough to give front-line soldiers bandwidth equal to downloading three feature-length movies a second.
The Congressional Research Service said the Army, despite plans to spend $20 billion on the problem, may wind up with a tenth of the bandwidth it needs. The Army, in its “lessons learned” report from Iraq, published in May, said “there will probably never be enough resources to establish a complete and functioning network of communications, sensors, and systems everywhere in the world.”
With bandwidth conservation in mind, perhaps the Bush administration should propose the rationing of internet usage for individuals and families. Only true, committed patriots will limit their surfing activities. Haters of freedom will continue to hog valuable bandwidth with their blogging, downloading of MP3’s, animal pornography, ball by ball cricket coverage, etc.