What is network speed?
Network speed refers to how fast data travels. Scenarios that are especially sensitive to network speed are time to load a web page, time to establish a new connection and time to download an app or stream a video.
Why does speed matter?
With access to multi-gigabit network speeds, the possibilities are endless. A faster, high-bandwidth connection will enable a new wave of emerging technologies, like virtual gaming, connected health monitoring, AI assistants, self-driving cars, holodecks and other seamless, visually rich experiences that will revolutionize the way we live, learn, work and play.
What problem are we solving?
According to Intel, the average number of connected devices for every person on Earth will reach 26 by 2022, contributing to a staggering double-digit growth of internet traffic overall.
A significant chunk of this traffic will come from high-resolution video used in bandwidth-sensitive applications. With 10G, we’re making sure that cable networks have more than enough speed and capacity to handle it, without overhauling the hybrid fiber coax infrastructure that’s already in place, keeping costs down and reliability high.
How will we get there?
Wired DOCSIS Technologies
DOCSIS® 3.1 technology, the current industry-wide standard that enables data transfer over cable, gives new meaning to the term “high-speed internet” with speeds that reach up to 10G downstream and 1G upstream. Don’t think you need gigabit speeds? Several specific uses that benefit dramatically from gigabit connectivity include the following:
- Online Gaming: One video game takes a mere three minutes to download
- Streaming Video: You can download 10 high-definition movies in just seven minutes.
But we’re not stopping there. To support applications with higher upstream traffic needs like video conferencing and interactive gaming, we’ve developed DOCSIS® 4.0 technology, an extension that allows symmetrical multi-gigabit data speeds in the downstream and upstream at the same time, over the same wire, effectively doubling network capacity. Efficient re-use of spectrum will eventually allow cable operators to add even more bandwidth in the near future.
Continuing advances in Point-to-Point Coherent Optics and Passive Optical Network (PON) technologies already enable multi-gig speeds in the fiber portion of the Hybrid Fiber Coax network. As with coax, we’re working on more efficient ways of using the miles of fiber we already have, which will allow us to grow network capacity to hundreds of terabits and beyond without spending more than we need to.
Wireless technologies play a key role in the future of connectivity. That’s why we’ve been dedicating a lot of effort to making sure that wireless speeds benefit from the advances in both the coax and fiber portion of the network. Wi-Fi Easy Mesh, Wi-Fi Passpoint and Wi-Fi Vantage technologies are all aimed at improving the quality and performance of wireless connections at home, work and even crowded public spaces where Wi-Fi use is growing. Not to mention Mobile Xhaul (formerly Mobile Backhaul), which enables the use of cable’s wired networks to maximize the performance and spectral efficiency of LTE and future 5G mobile networks.