The global crisis created by COVID-19 will have a profound and long-lasting impact. Broadband has played a vital role during this crisis as people work, study and shop from home. These changes in digital behavior have had a seismic effect on our networks. Until now, broadband operators have been using growth models that predicted a gradual increase in bandwidth demand of 30-40% over the next 3 or 4 years. COVID-19 has generated 30-40% growth overnight. We’ve seen huge spikes in usage across online gaming, VPN, streaming services, social media and video conferencing, to name a few.
At least some service providers report that while bandwidth demand remains higher than prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the rate of demand growth appears to be easing somewhat. Meanwhile, some service providers are taking financial and process steps to keep their businesses running as smoothly as possible.
The health of your business will depend on your network’s ability to handle the surge in traffic as employees work from home. Slow response times or, worse, system crashes, will cost you in employee productivity and business revenues. It’s important to have the network bandwidth to handle this influx. In this post, we review the questions you should ask of your current network.
The explosion in demand for high-resolution video streaming has also impacted the needs of campus networks. Intelligent applications, such as facial recognition systems, are emerging on campuses, adding to the already-high video traffic of video conferencing, media streaming, and VR devices. In addition, the Internet of Things (IoT) is leading to increasing deployments of service robots, intelligent access control, voice devices, and data sensing devices in campuses. While IoT is of significant value to campus networks, it makes the network structure more complex adding even more burden to copper wired networks.
Edge provides a huge opportunity to host many use cases on one infrastructure, manageable from a single pane of glass. Getting close to end-users not only allows the operator to tap directly into the new revenue streams for ultra-low latency/ultra-reliable services, but also to provide “edge-as-a-service,” and other infrastructure-as-a-service and hosting services to other enterprises.
In 2020, four key trends — Upstream Bandwidth, Smart networks, Visualization and Distribution — will move us closer to real-world improvements to speed, capacity, and efficiency coming to networks around the world, while making meaningful improvements in the way that operators manage their networks and consumers experience broadband.
The terms bandwidth and data rates are often used interchangeably, but they are in fact very different if you work in the cabling world. Your internet provider may advertise a bandwidth of 500 megabits per second (Mbps). In that case, they actually mean data rate. In the cabling world, bandwidth is a property of the cable – its ability to transmit a signal that’s intelligible at the far end. Any signal put on a copper or fiber link will degrade as it gets to the far end. This is a result of simple loss, but also more complex factors such as return loss (reflections), and in the case of copper, crosstalk. Vendors design their copper and fiber cabling to be able to deliver these raw signals (bandwidth) at higher rates.
Multimode optical fiber is the most common media choice for both backbone and horizontal distribution within the local area network (LAN) including campuses, buildings, and data centers. Let’s take a closer look at the types of multimode fiber options based on bandwidth and distance needs.