7 thoughts on “What is gigabit broadband good for?”

  1. This is really futurist stuff, but I can imagine a world where biology and digital are tightly integrated, and where ones “stream of existence” is digitized and published in a rich and expressive virtual landscape. Something like Facebook would be transformed from the series of text messages it is now to experiences almost indistinguishable from reality. Imagine having the ability to actually see and experience what your friends are experiencing at any moment. Ideally this wont be just a visual integration either, encompassing auditory, olfactory and somatosensory layers.

    In such a world interaction, education and productivity will be revolutionized and it will almost certainly need as much bandwidth as is possible.

  2. Simple, with a Gigabit network we would never have to bring our data with us anymore. It is the last obstacle in mobile (if we also had 100% network coverage)

  3. the most obvious is a much better torennt and large downloads experience.

    if upload speeds match it may also mean small websites could be hosted at home or small office instead leased server/rack space in a data center.

  4. We’ve had LANs running Gigabit Ethernet since 1999. They’re all over the place, in homes, offices, and campuses, and they connect hundreds of millions of people.

    Twelve years later, we still don’t have any gigabit applications, so it’s doubtful that gigabit WANs are going to usher in a new era of innovation.

    Gigabit optical transceivers are cheaper than 100 meg transceivers, so there’s a compelling case to deploy gig everywhere that fiber is installed (except in data centers and IXs, where 10-100G are commonplace.) It’s valuable for aggregating lower speed links as you move from the desktop toward the backbones. But there aren’t any end-to-end apps that require a Gig, and there aren’t going to be any for the foreseeable future. One of the main drawbacks is the fact that current PCs and home routers can’t sustain Gig packet rates because of the speed of their buses, memory, and CPUs. If you can squeeze a 60 Meg PC-to-PC transfer rate over GigE today you’ve got some really high-performance gear.

    In order to consume a Gig, you need to be running an app such as holographic conferencing that combines 3 or 4 dozen HDTV streams simultaneously. Call me when you’ve got the CPU and GPU processing power to do that.

  5. Having spent some time in Asia, especially South Korea, I think Kevin has a good point – people figure out new and creative ways to use the extra bandwidth (mostly for gaming though).

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