Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2016

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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34 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 INDUSTRY ANALYSIS 2016 Forecast: Sunny, With a Chance of Gigabits Industry experts expect broadband demand to keep rising. How service providers will meet that demand is somewhat less clear. By Masha Zager / Broadband Communities W hat's in store for broadband this year? "Bandwidth usage will keep going up," says Scott Helms, chief technology ofcer of ZCorum, echoing a common theme. Te drivers of bandwidth demand include some familiar applications and some that are not so familiar. On the familiar side, over-the- top video streaming will continue to grow – sometimes with multiple streams going to the same household at the same time – and video formats will become ever more bandwidth intensive with the addition of 4K and virtual reality. OTT's coexistence with pay TV may become more peaceful this year as operators introduce "skinny bundles" to keep customers from dropping pay TV altogether. "Te number of subscribers with skinny TV bundles will increase by a factor of 100," says Geof Burke, senior director of corporate marketing for Calix. Many consumers will rely on pay TV for basic channels and supplement them with the content of their choice via online subscriptions. Paul Lee and Duncan Stewart, authors of the Deloitte Global report Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions, agree that OTT will continue to erode pay TV revenues by enabling cord cutters, cord nevers (millennials who never subscribed to pay TV) and cord shavers ("skinny bundle" buyers and others) to avoid paying for some or all traditional TV services. However, the report concludes, "TV's decline is more likely to happen at a slow, steady and predictable rate. An apocalypse is not around the corner." Other familiar applications driving bandwidth demand include photo sharing – Deloitte Global predicts that in 2016, 2.5 trillion photos will be shared or stored online, a 15 percent increase over the prior year – and video calling. Lee and Stewart point out that video calling is becoming more bandwidth intensive as video quality improves and as conference calling becomes simpler. IT'S ALL CONNECTED An example of a not-so-familiar bandwidth driver is what Stephane Bourque, president and CEO of Incognito Software Systems, calls the "deluge of wearables," a category that encompasses such devices as smart watches, ftness trackers, smart glasses, smart clothing, Learn more about the latest broadband trends at the 2016 BroadBand Communities summit , April 5–7 in Austin. b h l

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