The internet is an ever-evolving animal. It has sprung up on us in just a few short decades and we haven’t had time to adjust. Our current infrastructure is totally inadequate for the needs of today’s technological demands. The UK is dragging its feet in updating it's internet infrastructure and is currently lagging behind the rest of Europe. Fibre to fibre broadband, or fibre to the premises (FTTP)is the future of this infrastructure but still only accounts for (25%?) of the UK’s network. Most of the major internet providers have been slow in rolling out FTTP and have been content to use the antiquated copper cables. There has been an effort lately to improve the network, most notably by the smaller ‘AltNet’ companies.
But why do we need FTTP when our current network seems to work alright, and the major providers are happy to keep using the copper system (FTTC)?
In fact, there are several answers to that question.
The network is not operating at its full potential with many major internet providers not meeting the needs of their customers. Furthermore, the network is reliant on copper cable that was laid in the early 20th century. This has served us well in the past, but it will not serve us for the future because the demand for data is ever increasing, and the copper is already reaching its limits.
We don’t want to be in a situation where the rest of the world’s internet capabilities are better than our own. We would be losing out on future learning tools, social opportunities , business enterprises and scientific techniques.
Furthermore, we need a system that can deliver high-capacity data in order to future-proof our homes and businesses. This is in preparation for new tech that we don’t even know about yet but can certainly expect. Improving technologies mean that the demand for data is already increasing exponentially.
So where exactly are these demands on the data going to come from?
VR and the Metaverse
We are being told to expect an increasingly virtual world, with companies like Facebook changing their identity into ‘Meta’ so that they can be first into the new ‘Metaverse’. VR Gaming is only the start, and we can expect social networking, dating, tourism, shopping, even business meetings to be conducted in VR in the future.
New Forms of Communication
New forms of communication are already being introduced including voice activated commands, video calls and predictive technologies. Translation software and gesture tracking are still in their infancy, and their demand on the network is sure to sky-rocket.
The Health Data Revolution
There is a health data revolution in progress as well, with a huge increase in people relying on wearable, constantly connected technology to keep in good condition. This links in with home appliances, exercise equipment and entertainment systems, that will all one day be included in much more centralised (and demanding) home hubs.
All this new connected technology is becoming more and more exposed, and we are losing a lot of our personal privacy protection. In order to counter this, we are starting to develop new and even more complicated methods of protecting our data, and our homes. Video camera doorbells are the tip of the iceberg with plans for new security measures already in high demand by an increasingly security aware society.
The points above barely even scratch the surface when it comes to the emerging technology that is going to dominate the lives of all of us before we even know it. To find out more there is a great deal of information on the subject on the Tech Xplore - Technology and Engineering website who give weekly tech news updates. New Technology News - Latest Tech News & Industry Updates (popularmechanics.com) is also a good place to keep an eye on things.
With all these changes happening and the demands that they are going to be making on our data capacity, it seems that we need to be prepared, or be prepared to be left behind!
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