This past September, an alliance of three companies unveiled the 10G Smart Home. In Ames, Iowa, U.S. cable operator Mediacom, CableLabs, and NCTA (Internet & Television Association) demonstrated the capabilities of an enhanced broadband network in a house with over 70 internet-enabled devices.
Many of the devices had bandwidth-heavy applications that require super-fast speeds, low latency, and increased security. New technologies like light field displays (similar to holograms), a gaming setup with a Twitch stream, and telemedicine technologies were also demonstrated.
Not to be confused with 5G, which is cellphone tech where the “G” stands for generation, 10G is broadband tech where the G stands for gigabits. While most U.S. homes now have access to 1G, or 1 gigabit per second, connections, 10G offers 10 gigabits per second. Cable industry insiders are calling 10G “the future of broadband technology,” “the next big leap for digital mankind,” and even “the next big leap for digital mankind.”
But 10G is not just another new technology to educate yourself and your customers about. When you install quality structured wiring equipment, the new systems promise peace of mind. 5G mobility will not be able to compete with 10G broadband any time soon (if ever), so the technology will future-proof homes for continued wired internet.
10G Applications in the Smart Home
While mobility continues its complex 5G rollout, the broadband industry is barreling forward. In early 2019, the aforementioned (NCTA) and CableLabs, along with Cable Europe, introduced a vision for the future in which 10-gigabit networks are commonplace. Eighty percent of homes in the U.S. have access to gigabitspeeds, and ISPs who service these homes will eventually be able to scale up to 10G.
This is the infrastructure of the future. With the pandemic forcing many of us to stay home, we’re relying on our broadband connection more and more, for playing, for entertaining, for working and for studying. While the 70+ connected devices in the Ames, Iowa trial home sounds like a lot, many homes today already have close to 50. And many of those offer immersive content experiences alongside an unparalleled boom of video streaming platforms.
10G promises not just speed, but also reduced latency (of 1 millisecond, compared to the current peak average of 17ms for fixed broadband). Online video gaming will have richer graphics and no lag. Multiplayer online gaming, with its demands for huge bandwidth coupled with low latency, will benefit, along with immersive video and 8K streaming and virtual, augmented and holographic reality. Hi-definition video displays will enhance our video chats.
10G can also enhance smart home security by supporting on-premises network management systems.
10G Applications in Industry
The new broadband tech promises benefits to various industries, both through enabling innovation and improving existing solutions. Education, health, and agriculture are among the industries that stand to benefit from the implementation of 10G.
For example, improved virtual lectures, in which instructors teach students who are viewing and interacting simultaneously, will result in a more immersive experience than now. Or connections to the home that allows 3D holographic displays could be foundational for effective telemedicine.
Following the pandemic, these potential benefits will be even more critical. The value of robust, reliable and secure broadband networks that provide infrastructure for e-health services, online education, and teleworking platforms cannot be overstated.
10G May Be Closer Than We Realize
10G requires extending the use of fiber optic cable. The increase in fiber deployment will lessen the number of households supported by the copper and ISPs will need to install additional equipment and customers will need to upgrade current devices to achieve more capacity.
However, the technologies that enable 10G are already in development. Over the next few years, we expect to see the same networks that deliver 1G today scale up to 10G. The roll-out will be incremental as new innovations make their way into the network. With 10G, the broadband industry is in the lead to deliver the new immersive digital experiences that will change our lives.