The Case for Super-Fast Broadband

superfastbroadbandBroadband speeds around the World have increased over the years to accommodate advances in Internet technology. The Federal Office of Communication (Ofcom) in the UK recently gave the go ahead for further investments in optic fibre installations across the country in a bid to achieve a super-fast broadband with speeds of up to 100Mbps. The first implementation of these multi-billion pound investments would generate speeds of around 60Mbps and help to reduce the increasing technology gulf amongst similar developed nations. Indeed some countries like South Korea, Japan and Sweden currently boast of broadband speeds of over 80Mbps however, the average speed on offer today remains in the region of 8Mbps possibly because many more countries in the developing world can only boast a maximum speed of around 1Mbps. With this latest quest for speed, the huge technology gap between both worlds could not be more pronounced.

The super-fast broadband promises much higher speeds than the popular ADSL technology using the optic-fibre network that would make it capable of providing speeds of up to 100Mbps. While the actual speed advertised by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) is usually a lot lower than what is obtainable, this is still a massive improvement from the days when dial-up technology was in vogue. The super-fast broadband would provide a comfortable platform for broadband-thirsty services such as playing High Definition (HD) TV channels and film or music downloads to function with ease. Imagine downloading a DVD-quality film in 3 minutes while making video calls or playing HD games online and operating a home CCTV surveillance system via broadband?

Although there is no obvious bandwidth-devouring application at the moment, video-dominated programs are becoming the order of the day. Video streaming and downloading services such as YouTube, BBC iPlayer etc are gaining momentum while Social Networking Sites (SNS) and Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing (MMORPG) games aspire to have high definition 2-way video conferencing standardized in the nearest future. Gamers are also desperately in need of better and faster latency to compete on the global stage. In spite of this, the super-fast broadband’s 100Mbps speed appears to be in excess of what is actually required at the moment and may just create a wider digital divide between developed and developing countries.Whilst investment in this modern ultra-fast network is a welcome development, I cannot help but ask myself the following questions; is the timing right? Is there really a demand for such super-fast broadband today? Shouldn’t the focus be on bridging the huge disparity between advertised speeds and what users actually get under the current technology and how do we prevent poorer countries and rural dwellers’ from being lost in the Internet chasm?

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Filed in: Internet, Politics Tags: 100mbs, BBC iPlayer, Broadband, Computer, Digital divide, Internet, Internet service provider, South Korea, Streaming media, super fast broadband

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9 Responses to "The Case for Super-Fast Broadband"

  1. Wenny Yap says:

    No one is ever satisfied, it’s only human nature. So developing the speed to 100Mbps will definitely be most welcomed in the near future.

    But I believe the issue of urgent concern now should be to bring the disparity of the broadband speeds between developed and developing countries to par. At the same time, provide a consistency in the speeds at all times. Here in Malaysia, we often suffer from sluggish speeds.

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  2. …the bits move so fast. By the time you read (skim) this comment, it will be irrelevant and outdated.

    In Sweden, 1 Gbps has been around since at least 2005 (http://www.bjornerback.com/tomas/mattgrand/). Recently 80 and 100Gbps have been tested. Supposedly Verizon/ can support up to 8Tbps theoretically (http://www.telecompaper.com/news/article.aspx?cid=637901).

    1Gbps in Japan:

    10 Gbps in Latvia (soon):

    This 75 year old lady in Sweden has has 40 Gbps: http://www.thelocal.se/7869/20070712/

    Data and graphs by region:

    US has 16Mbps (barely), with 50Mbps in a few places and might have 60Mbps soon:

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  3. Chicago IL Chiropractic says:

    The Fast Broadband is acceptable and very useful. I don’t have any idea if we have super fast broadband, maybe it will be used for different purposes. I believe it will super fasten the uploading and downloading in virtual world.
    .-= Chicago IL Chiropractic´s last undefined ..Response cached until Sat 15 @ 5:01 GMT (Refreshes in 22.97 Hours) =-.

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  4. unlimited broadband says:

    The super fast broadband or the broadband with speeds greater than 24 Mbps will surely help the individuals and business organization to work with higher speed with more capable service. They may include 3D video services, teleworking, telemedicine etc.

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  5. Vr1online Technology says:

    This is a good development for the people of UK, this will going a long way in making the internet business and internet technology very easy to the people.

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  6. Boy, I just upgrader from 6 to 12Mbps and I was happy – 80Mbps is nuts.

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  7. Top Hair says:

    I can’t imagine GBps speeds of internet. I am very well satisfied with only 3mbps. I never knew there is more faster than that. The internet technology is progressing faster than I expected.

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  8. While everyone is waiting for “Super Fast Broadband” the best option for anyone living near a CO is Ethernet over Copper. It’s not shared, it’s easy to deploy, it’s dedicated, as in no sharing unlike cable or dsl, and it’s symmetrical, meaning it’s the same speed up as down.

    Plus, it’s very affordable for the bandwidth compared to T1 or T3.

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  9. Mary says:

    That what people look up to. Super Fast Broadband have a quick that can absolutely help to work in a time. Log connection can be erase and fast will save it. Thanks for that invention. It will help on online workers like me.

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