I’ve been getting the most out of my 4G internet connection, but things aren’t really moving as I expected these days. There has been a ton of talk about how it might be because of “network congestion” in rural areas and other factors like that, and yes, so far, there are some culprits. But this isn’t anything new! If you thought your ISP was going to go slow with only 2 gigabits per second of incoming data, think again. In fact, even though 4G may be slightly less capable than 3G, the amount of data being transmitted (and therefore, the throughput) has come up. So while our networks may not seem to be slowing down quite as much as they used to, we’re still certainly seeing a bit of the network itself lag behind. And while “real latency” or speed isn’t exactly what people want, it definitely makes things feel smoother and better overall — especially if you have kids and a bunch of them.
This is a very old concept, which we will discuss a little further below, and why fiber is the way to go.
Why Fiber Has Been Around Forever
While there has been an uptick in technology over the past few months, it’s easy to become distracted by all the hype about it, even when there’s absolutely no proof to back that up. Let’s take a look at one area where fiber had already started and why it’s actually been around for years. From our TV shows, movies, sports, music videos, video gaming, etc., we know that the first cable television was invented in 1920 by Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Hughes. They were both from New Jersey and were trying to get people to pay $12 for their local programming. While there weren’t any major changes between then and now, their services were extremely limited. Each one only provided the radio, which was pretty simple. It didn’t provide much else (the only time that anyone truly saw a picture in one of those shows was once Bell 1170). These early cables only worked over 90Hz, which is roughly what we get today.
That means that you could get 20-30 channels of streaming over a single coaxial cable. If you wanted to watch multiple streams on two screens with four different inputs, it just wasn’t practical! The FCC later created a regulation that allowed 25% of the data bandwidth to be broadcast to the public, but they couldn’t do anything to regulate what kind of programs would receive each piece of data. Instead, the FCC passed the Advanced Technology Act to put in place this law that allowed us to increase the number of satellites that would be launching low earth orbit broadband satellites into space. This gave us access to 100 million subscribers, which helped us all have super-fast Internet speeds for nearly half a century.
And thanks to AT&T and Comcast, we have many opportunities to enjoy high-speed internet now. Although many of us have gotten some fast 4G, it is just a matter of being able to afford unlimited data! At this point, you don’t need a computer, phone, or smartwatch to use it. You can download videos, watch your YouTube channel in your car, or stream all your own games without having to wait in line (and no longer paying for every extra terabyte). We have full wireless routers to ensure everything — including your router, internet, and the cloud — gets connected via Wi-Fi when required.
All the necessary hardware that can connect to the internet at home, school, and work is readily available. As for content, you don’t need to purchase something to get access to streaming your favorite show. A lot of companies and providers offer free trials, and plenty of those are also included in packages you can buy that cost you nothing more than one gigabyte of data. Those that don’t offer these things often end up charging between 10%–16%! So whether you think you need high-quality video, or simply want to watch Netflix at night if you don’t feel like downloading your entire episode, they both do it at a fraction of the cost. No worries! You have access to that same content anywhere, anytime!
The main reason for having so much choice when it comes to online entertainment is because you don’t care what your neighbors are watching. Since most of us don’t need to pay for a subscription to Netflix or Disney+, there are basically no limits to what we choose to watch, on our phones or tablets. The only downside when you get to this point is that everyone is going to use the same service, or at least the same app, to watch all of their favorites. Yes, this is still true, but that doesn’t mean we should stop making choices! When you can only see all of your favorite shows, you’re not going to change anything.
What you can change is the type of show you want to watch! Nowadays it’s easier to find new stuff than ever before, but if you aren’t sure how to choose the right content for yourself then that won’t be a hindrance. Just pick something and stick with it! Not only did cable television show us what was new, it also brought us great quality movies. Some of us could argue that there are too many movies these days to keep track of, let alone ever watch them all. However, there are many others who argue that this is not a bad thing! When someone goes back to a specific movie they watched years ago, they’ll instantly recognize it! Even better when that movie comes out on DVD or Blu-ray — but they’ll know enough information about it that’s important to know ahead of time! That’s just another argument for good variety.
Why It All Needs To Move
Since all of your friends want to watch similar content, you’ll likely spend a fair amount of time deciding not to bother even attempting to watch something new. One big advantage of keeping things constant is that that allows you to focus on more interesting things. Whether you decide to watch three episodes or five, it simply shouldn’t matter. Whatever you do, the rest of the world will always be watching along! Plus, everyone keeps saying that the fastest internet is coming, so you need to act NOW! Don’t wait! Get online immediately so that the next week you can finally make some purchases that all your close friends are talking about. Then try your hand at streaming and see what happens. How long will it take to realize that you’re going to watch Hulu for your whole evening?
Or maybe you’ll stay up all night scrolling through Twitter — or whatever other social media outlet you are planning to use — to check out all that awesome content! By the way, that’s a great idea! It’s just you having a little one who doesn’t need constant updates. If anything, there has never been a better time to explore all that digital goodness and push it against the wall! Besides, it gives you a chance to take a peek at the latest fashions and trends thanks to sites like GQ. So grab yourself a keyboard and start exploring those possibilities. Maybe after all that waiting, it’ll be good news!
As we mentioned earlier, fiber has taken off over the last couple of years. In 2015, US telecom giant AT&T began working on upgrading its existing cables to double-digit speeds. Two years later, Verizon followed suit and added six times the speed of the older cables. Now, Sprint also has almost doubled the capacity as well as adding new lines, but there’s still no word if these will increase it to 6 megabits or 8 megabits. So we really can expect these upgrades for the rest of the year! Until then, keep your eyes peeled for any announcements as to how quickly the infrastructure will allow for the best speeds possible. Soon, we might even be seeing live 5G in rural areas!
For the first time since 1996, we have a fully operational state in America, so you can really expect to see the biggest improvements that any company has achieved before. Hopefully, they’ll be doing more to help users get the maximum out of their current connections, especially since these networks are only getting larger and larger. And if they can finally deliver on their promises, we can do our part too! Especially when it comes to fiber!