What will the internet be like in 2020?

As was shown by an US survey there are quite different expectations by experts on the future development of the internet ranging from being positive to horror scenarios. A report from “The Pew Internet and American Life Project” provides a summary on the forecasts for the World Wide Web in 2020.
More than fifty percent of the 742 experts surveyed expect a positive development of the internet and beneficial effects on economy and society. Their visions range from equality of opportunities over more economic transparancy to the optimization of housing and work places thereby increasing productivity. However, Ben Detender, assistent professor at the Nanyang Technical University, cautions against to much optimism: “Virtual reality, in which many people will live and work by the year 2020, will only increase the productivity of some people. For most people there will not be any difference. Virtual reality will only change the kind of work and the way it is done.”
Louis Nauges, chairman of Microcost, rather directs his attention to the technical advances achieved by 2020: “Mobile internet will be dominant. By 2020 most mobile service providers will provide to clients a download capacity of one GB per second at any time and any place.” Furthermore Nauges believes that the internet will provide a comprehensive infrastructure becoming itself the source of all necessary application tools.
Of course there are contrary opinions as well. Many of those surveyed (about 60 percent) think that there will be kind of subculture consisting of people hostile towards technological advance or refusing it, who might also carry out attacks on the Word Wide Web. There might also negative aspects to the expected transparancy. Transparent economy and society will would also lead to more control and surveillance of citizens, states the report. GERMAN