We have 1 Gig broadband, what’s next?

Those around in 1974 may remember their parents or neighbours purchasing the newly available colour televisions in time to watch the Commonwealth Games in glorious colour. Jump forward a few decades and while many of us are still wrapping our heads around high resolution 4K televisions, Japanese state broadcaster NHK last year announced plans to send live ultra-high definition 8K pictures over the airwaves during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The pace of technological change is dizzying, bringing a corresponding growth in our need for fast, reliable broadband at home.

While our fastest 1Gbps (that’s 1000Mbps) Fibre Pro connection is keeping even the most tech heavy homes humming along happily, right now at Chorus we’re hard at work planning the next upgrade to our national broadband infrastructure – a whopping 10Gbps connection.

To make sure future-you is humming along without annoying delays, a team of technical experts are trialling all sorts of technology behind 10Gbps fibre networks in the Chorus Fibre Experience Lab based in Auckland to find the best solution for New Zealand homes and businesses.

The good news is we won’t need to dig up the streets to beef up home broadband connections to ten times the speeds they’re at now; the fibre cables we’re laying now can easily handle 10Gbps connections. It’s the technology at either end of the cables – the ONT in your home and the one in our exchange that will be upgraded when the time is right.

A handful of countries have already released 10Gbps plans. Hong Kong pipped others at the post and was the first to launch 10Gbps back in 2015. Since then Norway, Qatar, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and some parts of the US have launched 10Gbps connections.

While 10Gbps seems like overkill now, the growth in our thirst for data is gargantuan due to the ever increasing sophistication of and our use of connected appliances to do everything from monitoring our health to staying in touch with the rellies. And that is showing no signs of slowing down. Tech research firm Gartner reports there were 6.3 billion connected things globally at the end of 2016. It predicts that the number of connected fridges, lightbulbs, security, televisions, fitness trackers, smart home systems and so on will grow to 8.4 billion by the end of this year, and 20.8 billion by 2020.

It’s hard to imagine how we’ll be using our broadband in the future. But as it’s unthinkable now to imagine a world without watching TV in colour, it’s nearly certain that our thirst for better technology will continue and what’s normal will continue to evolve. We’re making sure our broadband network continues to keep that technology humming along properly. Watch this space.

 

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