With 5G coming, your neighborhood could get 10Gbps cable broadband

With 5G coming, your neighborhood could get 10Gbps cable broadband

At peak, that’s roughly 1,000 times today’s basic broadband speeds — fast enough to download a full HD movie in less time than it took to read this sentence. By design, that’s also fast enough to leave 5G’s promise of 1Gbps speeds in the dust for years to come. But upping the ante for high-bandwidth wired broadband is one route traditional cable companies could take in combating 5G wireless. In the United States, 10Gbps service is prohibitively expensive for customers, currently running around $300 per month. Sony Network is currently offering Nuro Hikari 10G, with 10Gbps downloads/2.5Gbps uploads for $100 per month. At roughly the same price, KDDI’s Au Hikari Home promises 10Gbps (or “best effort”) speeds, using an 802.11ac/ax wireless router to let all of a home’s devices take maximum advantage of its wired service. Japan is a very small country compared with the United States, but even Japanese carriers can’t guarantee consistent 10Gbps speeds throughout the country. Additionally, despite the fact that 5G will be “wireless” for users, carriers will depend on heavy-duty fiber optic cabling to handle 5G users’ massively increased data demands. New cables will need to be laid across the country, and new hardware will be needed to make better use of existing fiber. Whether you’re enjoying 1Gbps wireless or 10Gbps wired service, dense, high-speed fiber cabling is likely to be at least partially responsible.

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The imminent arrival of 5G wireless with “true mobile broadband” speeds is forcing wired broadband companies to respond, and their next step may be dramatic: 10 Gigabyte per second service. At peak, that’s roughly 1,000 times today’s basic broadband speeds — fast enough to download a full HD movie in less time than it took to read this sentence. By design, that’s also fast enough to leave 5G’s promise of 1Gbps speeds in the dust for years to come.

Hold on a second: Does anyone really need 10Gbps service? For most things people do with home broadband today, it’s overkill, which is why almost no one has that sort of service at home. But as 4K and 8K movies, high-resolution VR, and UHD game streaming from cloud servers grow in popularity, high-bandwidth home internet service will become necessary. (You can visualize the speed difference for yourself using the meter in the middle of this page.)

Today, 10Gbps service is only available in a handful of U.S. cities — including Detroit; Minneapolis; Salisbury, North Carolina; and Chattanooga, Tennessee — and six total countries. But upping the ante for high-bandwidth wired broadband is one route traditional cable companies could take in combating 5G wireless. And interestingly, 5G providers may use the same cable hardware to provide a nationwide fiber backbone for their wireless services.

In the United States, 10Gbps service is prohibitively expensive for customers, currently running around $300 per month. Compared with $70-$80/month standard…

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