"Homes Don't Need 100Mbps" is Dumb Thinking

By Doug Mohney February 18, 2014

Google is making noises it will deliver 10 Gigabits per second in the near future. This is a good thing, yet I see any number of (so called) technology writers parroting the traditional telephone service provider line of "Nobody wants 100 Mbps, nobody wants 1 Gbps, nobody knows what to do with all that speed."  Stop the mindless garbage already! There's at least one killer app that needs the fastest pipes possible and it is shameful nobody can come to the table and own up to how we all need it.

In our cloudy, increasingly decentralized world of data, just moving around stuff for back up requires the fastest pipes possible. Period. End of story.

Exhibit A: Verizon Wireless is bundling 25 GB of cloud storage with its latest "More Everything" plan. Do I want to back up my precious 5 to 6 GB of iTunes music carefully accumulated over the years by 1) A data capped LTE connection 2) A 10 Mbps connection 3) Something 10 times faster or 4) A gigabit or faster?

The answer in my spoiled little world is "a gigabit or faster," since I've tried to do LAN backups on local home connections at speeds of less than 100 Mbps and it takes hours upon hours. People are impatient, power can go out (like during last night's winter storm), and we haven't even taken into account the impact of one or more live video streams moving in the household to impact less-than-100Mbps connections.

If anyone has a shot at the "killer app" for home backup services, it will be the cable industry. While Google is preaching the virtues of the cloud, the company has a bad habit of data mining everything that passes through its universe for its own purposes.  I don't want to upload my iTunes collection and someday get email from Google or third-party pop-up ads when I'm working the web saying offering me the latest Journey or Stevie Nicks albums. If I want to search and buy music, videos, and books, I want to do so at a time and place of my choosing.

Cable has the warm-fuzzy feeling of being "Local," and hasn't (yet) earned the "NSA is watching" stigma.  It is also in the process of rolling out DOCSIS technology capable of providing downstream data of 10 Gbps or more with upstream speeds of 1 Gbps -- did I mention the only thing worse than slow backup is slow recovery? People and businesses want, need, and desire the highest speeds possible when recovering data.

Will the service provider world eventually wrap their heads around the idea of "fastest is bestest?" I think it will take more aggressive service deployments by Google before AT&T and Verizon start to get serious about providing affordable gigabit and faster services to homes and businesses.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

Contributing Editor

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