Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2019

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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MDU TECHNOLOGY 7 2 | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 9 Student Housing Technology: Predictions Versus Reality A technology seer re-examines some bold predictions he and his team made in 2012. The verdict: not bad at all. By Andrew Marshall / Campus Technologies Inc. P redicting anything in the technology sector is a risky business. Predicting anything ve or even 10 years ahead is extraordinarily risky. Nonetheless, in December 2007, the Campus Techologies Inc. team wrote the rst of a series of white papers on future bandwidth requirements and the operation of student housing networks. „is was revised every couple of years, and in October 2012, B ROADBAND COMMUNITIES published an overview of the July 2012 edition of that white paper. Seven years on, how did we do? I have to admit I approached this review with some trepidation, but in reality, we did pretty well, given the subject matter and the number of years out we were looking. Inevitably, we fell short in a couple of areas. CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR PERUSER BANDWIDTH REQUIREMENTS In the 2012 paper, we used Nielsen's law (bandwidth available to a high-end user will increase by 50 percent a year) to extrapolate high-end and average U.S. user bandwidth. At the ve-year mark, in 2017, we estimated 1,748 Mbps for a high-end user and 336 Mbps for an average user. By 2019, those numbers were estimated to be 3,933 Mbps and 756 Mbps. „e real results were signicantly lower for three main reasons. First, the technology and its deployment has not kept up with demand by consumers – many U.S. subscribers have no high- bandwidth choice at all. Second, the applications and content to drive increased demand don't yet exist (for example, online gaming and 4K streaming consume only 25–30 Mbps). „ird, the consumer electronics industry stalled at a 1 Gbps connection for consumer devices and has not seen the need to go above that rate. It's worth noting that several residential providers have announced 10 gigabit residential services. However, the availability is so limited that although the announcements validate our predictions, we think it prudent to not include them in our scoring. Interestingly, many student housing communities now ožer gigabit to the bed and, as a result, are much closer to these predictions than single-family or other MDU communities. It is a chicken and egg situation: Technologies that consume and require large amounts of bandwidth won't be developed or rolled out until networks are available for consumers to access them, and networks won't be built out until there is consumer demand. EDGE BANDWIDTH FOR STUDENT HOUSING In 2012, we predicted that by 2017, a 200-bed community would be connected with a pipe at least 880 Mbps and a 500-bed community with a pipe at least 3,303 Mbps. We were very close with this prediction. Campus Technologies now routinely provisions

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