BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.
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MAY/JUNE 2014 | www.broadbandcommunities.com | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 71 Measuring Broadband Usage Educating consumers about the value of broadband service to connected homes helps service providers manage their networks and retain customers. By Mark Momerak / NISC R esearch shows a steady upward trend of connected homes in North America. Fueling that trend is the push toward home automation, energy management, home security and, most important, video streaming over a multitude of IP-connected devices. Home automation can range from a touchscreen panel for managing video cameras to electronic door locks, smart appliance controls, door and window sensors, motion detectors and temperature control. In addition, most vendors support the ability to manage and control these devices from a Web browser, smartphone or tablet. Home energy management allows consumers to set their smart thermostats for diferent temperatures at diferent times of day, thus better managing their energy expenditures. Energy- efcient light bulbs also reduce energy spend, as do controls for turning lights or other small appliances on and of remotely or on a timer. Home security management ranges from window and door sensors to remote key fobs, glass-break detectors, motion detectors, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. All these devices provide a sense of security and peace of mind along with 24/7 monitoring of all devices. Te devices communicate seamlessly in connected homes, and they all require a broadband Internet connection. THE FIRE HOSE: OTT Today's biggest bandwidth user is over-the- top (OTT) entertainment, which includes the delivery of audio, video and other media over the Internet. OTT is a hot trend in the media market – and is expected only to increase. It includes streaming services such as Netfix, Hulu and Amazon Prime as well as TV Everywhere subscriber-authenticated services ofered by pay-TV providers. Consumers access these OTT services through a variety of IP-connected devices, including computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and gaming consoles within connected homes. Tird-party set-top boxes, such as Roku and Apple TV, enable consumers to view OTT services on their TVs. As people add more IP-connected devices to their connected homes, they consume more OTT services. On average, there are fve IP- connected devices within today's connected home. Depending on family size and dynamics, that number can easily grow to 15 devices. Streaming all this data is equivalent to leaving a fre hose wide open. On the horizon is higher-resolution content in 4K HD. Netfix recently launched the second season of its hit series, "House of Cards," along with some nature documentaries, in 4K HD. Tis service is available to 4K TVs with Netfix and HEVC/H.265 decoding capabilities built in. As people add more IP-connected devices to their connected homes, they consume more over-the-top entertainment. TECHNOLOGY BBC_May14.indd 71 5/29/14 9:19 AM