16 October 2008

Broadband Speeds Set To Soar

Looks like BT is finally finding a use for all that money they're creaming off the hapless masses. At last, churning back into the infrastructure seems like a good idea.

So in the next two years we're expecting to see major leaps in available broadband speeds. Virgin are also doing the same with expected ADSL speeds of up to 50Mbps (just over 6MB/s). BT reckon their first leap up will allow speeds up to 40Mbps.

This is all thanks to fibre optics and lots of cold hard cash: £1.5bn to be exact. What does this all mean though? Is the web falling apart under the weight of all our online shopping?

Not exactly. But we are all doing more surfing than the UK infrastructure was ever conceived to handle. Now with a huge number of households having more than one PC plus online gaming devices, our demands on bandwidth are increasing. And they're only set to sky rocket.

While blu-ray may be an ideal portable format for huge quantities of data, its cost is still too prohibitive as a true HD media format for consumers. We're starting to see plenty of HD media appearing as streaming and downloadable content, and with more consumers having gaming devices and even full-blown media centre PCs attached to their TVs, the need for a physical format dwindles while consumers opt for downloading.

This increase will most definitely put a strain on bandwidth. It will also mean the complete collapse of Sony by the sounds of things!

There are a few implications for the consumers. I've taken a moment to consider the following:
  • Broadband speed faster than WiFi
  • HD content of better quality than display is capable of
  • Storage space for all the movies
  • ISP restrictions and pricing
Of course this doesn't even begin to address BTs approach to the support of the network standards that will enable greater numbers of users to make use of this service. IPv6 is heralded as the saviour of the net - one that will soon become absolutely necessary if web analysts are correct, and one that BT is so far not entirely behind.

I wonder how I would spend £1.5bn?

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