Your Home Internet Sucks? Here Are the Next Big Tech Developments for Your Home Consumer Broadband Connection
If you are one of those who have been struggling with poor home broadband services, don’t feel to dejected. There are new technological developments in the home broadband services sector that should excite you. These are bound to address problems with speed, reliability, and reach.
1. Fiber Internet for Homes
Fiber Internet is not new but it’s worth noting how it continues to extend its reach into newer locations and is becoming an option for home Internet subscribers. It was once just intended for business users that require high-speed Internet access with great reliability. In recent years, such services have already been made available, offering speeds of up to 10 Gbps. The seeming failure of Google Fiber to achieve an explosive success in “disrupting the broadband sector” is not a barometer of fiber Internet’s growth. The growth of fiber Internet connections worldwide has continued to rise. Eventually, fiber optic Internet connections will become more affordable and accessible to more home users. From Asahi internet in Japan to TrustPower in New Zeland – fiber internet services are breaking out to the masses.
2. 5G Home Broadband
Talking about current advancements in home broadband wouldn’t be complete without discussing 5G technology. This new generation of wireless systems, the successor of 4G, provides blazing fast connections, around 100x faster than what current LTE or 4G networks are able to provide. It is considered as an excellent alternative for those who could not be served by expensive fiber-to-home networks. Similar to how fast fixed wireless broadband services have been made possible through LTE or 4G networks, home users will soon experience ultra fast internet access that can rival the speeds afforded by fiber internet.
3. Better Modems/Routers
The modems used to connect web-enabled devices to the Internet have advanced considerably through the years. From the large standalone boxes of the yesteryears, modems now have been shrunk in size, with some reduced to USB “plug-its.” They are even integrated in smartphones, tablets, and pocket Wi-Fi devices. Modems have also been made easier to use that many Internet service companies are now able to offer plug-n-play Internet services. These services allow customers to sign up for the service, pick up their modem, and set everything up on their own. Also, most modems supplied by ISPs nowadays already come with router functions, as well as Wi-Fi, to allow multiple users to use one home broadband connection.
These easier-to-use modems coupled with wireless Internet connections via 4G or 5G are something home Internet users can look forward to. They enable prepaid home Internet at high speeds and without getting bound by a contract. If you think the service is not satisfactory, you can easily switch to a new service provider by just changing SIM cards.
4. Internet “Over and Around” Power Lines
Using power lines to provide Internet services is possible and is not a new idea. It’s just not being widely offered by many companies. To experience how this technology works on a small scale, you can go to a nearby dollar store that specializes in electronic products and you will likely find something called a “powerline ethernet” device. This device involves a pair of what appear as power adapters with ethernet ports. What this device does is to make your home’s power line an extension of your LAN or ethernet network. With it, you can have a wired connection throughout your house without having to install new ethernet cables.
It’s the same concept used in providing Internet services through power lines. It’s a great way to provide Internet connections without having to deploy new cables, fiber optics, or copper lines. This concept, however, is not what AT&T aims to make available this year through its Project Airgig. Instead of providing Internet services through power lines, what AT&T plans to do is to provide Internet access over and around power lines. With Project Airgig, AT&T will be deploying inexpensive plastic antennas over power lines and provide gigabit-fast internet connections to homes comparable to what fiber optic can offer but with lower infrastructure expenditure.
AT&T is reported to have already entered “advanced discussions” with power service companies and is set to do trials by fall.
5. New Hardware to Enable Faster Internet Access for Homes
As reported in February of last year, University College London researchers have developed a hardware that can considerably cut the cost of supplying fast fiber Internet access to homes that are far from urban centers. It is a simplified optical receiver that can be inexpensively mass-produced but is capable of handling high bandwidths. This optical receiver can be used in lieu of copper cables that connect home users to the Internet boxes or cabinets of ISPs. This new hardware supports speeds of up to 10 Gbps, which easily dwarfs the maximum transmission rates supported by copper cables (at 300 Mbps).
Most of the technological developments mentioned above are not something that can be considered as breakthroughs. They are also dubitably revolutionary. Most of them are technologies that have been in development for years. The difference now, though, is that they are already becoming or close to becoming commercially available. They are technologies that are getting more and more accessible to ordinary home users, potentially addressing many of the Internet access drawbacks experienced by home users over the years.
Meanwhile, if you are still suffering from your problematic Internet connection, perhaps it’s about time to change. If the home broadband technologies mentioned above are not yet available in your area, the best you can do for now is to find some other home Internet service provider that offers better services.