Gigabit internet is the next generation of broadband internet service which is typically delivered over fiber optic lines and provides speeds of 1,000Mbps, which is also referred to as “1 Gbps” or “Gigabit” internet. To be clear, this is the speed of the WAN connection provided from the ISP to your customer’s house, not just the Gigabit Ethernet run over the Cat5e or Cat6 within the home. What this means to your customers is that they’ll have an internet connection that is 100 times faster than today’s average broadband service!

How fast is gigabit internet?

  • 100x faster than today’s average broadband connection
  • Download 100 photos in 3 seconds
  • Download 100 songs in 3 seconds
  • Download an HD Movie in 7 seconds

What is the current landscape of gigabit internet service?

  • Currently approximately 20 cities in US have gigabit internet service
  • Google currently services Kansas City, Austin & Provo
  • Google has selected additional 34 cities in the US to consider for it’s Gigabit network
  • Gigabit internet expected to hit 50 states by 2015

As you can see, gigabit internet is here and will potentially be in your market very soon! What does this mean to you and your systems? With this increase in speed, your customers will have access to new streaming services such as 4K UltraHD, which requires 20-30Mbps per stream. All of this will place an enormous amount of demand on your customers’ networks and you should begin planning for this today by designing networks capable of handling the near term increase.

Here’s what to consider TODAY when designing your customer networks:

  • Install a router capable of routing gigabit traffic
  • Run wiring in the home capable of gigabit connections (Cat5e at a minimum)
  • Install gigabit switches
  • Install managed switches for added visibility, flexibility and improved support capabilities
  • Begin to plan for next generation wifi and complete wifi coverage (802.11ac will be capable of gigabit speeds)
  • Install network management tools to allow you to remotely access, troubleshoot and reboot network devices

Gigabit internet is going to continue to push technology forward at a rapid pace and will be here before you know it. A little education on the topic will go a long way when your customers begin to ask you about this new and exciting broadband service. The most important thing you can do is to be knowledgeable and start to sell networks that can handle the traffic so that in a year when it potentially hits your market you’re not having to rip out that year-old equipment that wasn’t up to the speed challenge!

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