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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68 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 THE GIGABIT HIGHWAY The Future Belongs to Fiber At CES 2015, the smart-home gadgets of the future vied for attention – but only consumers with FTTH connections will be able to take full advantage of them. By Heather Burnett Gold / FTTH Council Americas Y ou know that feeling you get when you realize you should have taken time of before returning to work after a vacation? Tat is how I felt after the holidays, but there is no rest for the weary and no time to waste – fber is on fre. Every January, more than 160,000 technology enthusiasts go straight from celebrating the start of a new year to attending the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where they peruse the more than 20,000 gadgets that businesses will be bringing to market in the near future. It's the future of the technology industry, where the business leaders and innovators of the world share one space. I am among them each year because I know, as BroadBand C ommunities readers know, that without fber to the home, all these cool, shiny, bandwidth-hogging devices are not going to function in the home the way they do on the show foor. If I took one thing away from CES, it is that 2015 will be the year of the Internet of Tings. In particular, it'll be the year of the connected home, in which everyday devices are networked with one another for ease of management. Tink of cofee makers and thermostats that you can control via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi using apps on your smartphone. Attendees were jubilant about being able to control irrigation; lighting and security systems; kitchen appliances such as toasters, refrigerators and ovens; window treatments and entertainment centers from a single device. Tis is part of the movement to create smarter, more efcient homes. It's all going to need a lot of bandwidth. If CES 2015 was any indication, fber-to-the-home deployment will continue to fourish to keep up with such consumers' demands. POWERING SMART HOMES AND CONNECTED COMMUNITIES At CES, I was privileged to host a session designed to educate producers and consumers about the importance of high-speed Internet and the benefts fber broadband ofers. My expert panel, consisting of experienced FTTH Council members, all agreed that consumer attitudes toward innovation and bandwidth infuence and will continue to infuence the deployment of faster, more reliable broadband networks in communities across the country. FTTH is the only choice to power smart homes and connected communities. My panelists also talked a lot about video. According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, video will account for 79 percent of all global IP trafc in 2018, up from 66 percent in 2013. Tat number is likely to be revised upward, given the plethora of 8K ultra-high-defnition televisions I saw on the show foor. Live streaming video – such as real-time sports – on these televisions will require speeds estimated in excess of 50 Mbps per device. I can only imagine the arguments parents will have to referee when, in addition to Monday Night Football, one teen wants to watch an HD movie, another is trying to video chat with a friend, Grandma is uploading photos of her grandkids to Facebook and everything grinds to a halt. To round of my stay in Las Vegas, I spent time looking at other innovations that will continue to drive consumers' need for speed. I saw new applications and services in entertainment, education, health care, energy and public safety. I saw devices large and small. I saw a little glimpse of our future – and it's pretty cool – but only those who are lucky enough to gain FTTH will be prepared to take advantage of all that is ofered. v Heather Burnett Gold is president of the Fiber to the Home Council Americas, a nonproft association whose mission is to accelerate deployment of all-fber access networks. You can contact her at email@example.com. Learn about the Internet of Things at the BroadBand Communities summit in Austin, April 14–16.