Basic Human Needs: Food, shelter, and…Wireless??

I recently came across an article that stopped me in my tracks. In his December 22, 2016 Network Computing blog post, 5 WiFi Networking Predictions for 2017, Dirk Gates described WiFi connection as a “basic human need.” He wrote:

“WiFi now can be included in the lowest level in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a model that describes the essential necessities that motivate human behavior. Beyond clean water, food and shelter, an internet connection is now considered a requirement by many in the world. Just as every person should have access to the basic needs of life, our society believes it should have access to other humans on the planet”

What?! WiFi is as important to people as water, food and shelter?

In a nutshell, Maslow’s theory on motivation that states that humans must have their most basic needs met (food, sleep, water, shelter) before they can be motivated by any of the factors higher up on the pyramid. Food is more important than safety, safety is more important than friendships, and so on.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

I’m not sure I agree that WiFi belongs in that foundational bottom layer. But I’m also a Gen-Xer. I grew up without it; learned to live, work, and connect to people without it. You know, back when people had to have face-to-face conversations or – gasp! – pick up a rotary telephone to communicate.

However, my late-teen/early-20-something nieces, who don’t remember life without the Internet, might disagree with me. Certainly my 11-year-old son would list WiFi as a basic necessity of life.

Regardless of where you think WiFi fits on the motivational hierarchy, this blogger makes a very relevant point: Wireless is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s expected virtually everywhere we go – office buildings, hospitals, schools, restaurants, libraries. Even some public parks how house wireless access points. Let’s face it; we all get annoyed when we can’t connect easily and quickly to WiFi, wherever we are.

All that access is making it easier for humans to connect with one another. But it also puts a strain on your IT infrastructure. Explosive growth in the number of connected devices being used, combined with advancing wireless technology, is leading to big changes in the way networks are designed and deployed. Next generation WAPs – which are only a few years away – will affect your horizontal cabling infrastructure and, eventually, your fiber backbone too.

Berk-Tek is hosting a webinar on August 30 to discuss how you can best prepare your network for all of these coming changes. Click here to register.


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