Cable internet service providers have invested billions of dollars into continually upgrading their networks, and over the past couple of decades that has translated into increased speeds and access for millions of people in the United States. In fact, over 80% of cable customers have access to gigabit speeds. And since the cable industry’s announcement in 2019 about the 10G initiative, cable operators have been working towards rolling out 10 gigabit speeds to households all over the map and making steady progress on deploying this next-generation service. But what will 10G look like in practice and what will it mean for millions of people across the country? Below are five examples of how 10G will enable life-changing technologies and applications for people and forever change how people communicate and connect.
While smart homes are already here, 10G will bring them to the next level of connectivity. Mediacom’s 10G Smart Home is the first real-life example of how a 10G home will operate. With over 70 interconnected devices, the home boasts cutting-edge technologies, many of which have bandwidth-heavy applications requiring super-fast speeds, low latency, and increased security. A light field display table will be a permanent living room fixture, producing holographic imagery and displaying 8K movies that make for a truly enriching entertainment experience. Meanwhile, interconnected kitchen appliances and apps will make cooking and meal prep easier than ever. And through automated heating, lighting, and security, 10G will help people make their homes safer and easier to operate, even when they are traveling or on the go.
The speed at which telehealth as a practice was adopted was undoubtedly catapulted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cox’s telehealth firm, Trapollo, created a “hospital in the home” experience that saved hospital beds for those who needed urgent care. The platform kept patients and medical staff as safe as possible with the use of videoconferencing, streaming media, and store-and-forward imaging to conduct appointments and share confidential records. The Trapollo app also allows for providers to continually monitor their patients’ health and stay in communication with them. With 10G on the horizon, these kinds of telehealth opportunities will only expand and enable technologies that will assist in the aging process, including the ability to track a patient’s pill taking, health habits, and wellness practices to give them the best treatment and care possible in their very own home.
When schools closed across the country last March and sent millions of students and teachers into the unknown territory of full-time distance education, it forced schools to leverage technology like never before and brainstorm creative solutions to continue reaching students in new ways. But even with schools opening back up, moving forward, a 10G connection will make distance learning even more interactive and engaging by providing seamless connectivity and transmitting top-notch, high-quality imagery. Educational websites, which employ technology and game-based learning, will have the opportunity to reach more students, and interactive 3-D learning simulations of science labs, gardens, museums and the like will be made possible by the low latency that 10G provides. Lastly but most importantly, 10G connectivity will shatter barriers to educational access because location and income will be taken out of the equation, giving every student the chance to attain a high-quality learning experience.
Videoconferencing apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Google Hangouts became the new conference rooms to hold business meetings, events, medical appointments, education classes, or reunions with friends and family over the past year. Looking forward, these platforms have the opportunity to vastly improve their features and give users a state-of-the-art virtual experience through 10G’s higher speeds and capacity for bandwidth. This includes innovations such as artificial intelligence-powered video compression, which takes a snapshot of a user’s face at the beginning of the stream and is then reassembled at the other end through a series of data points. The result is a crystal-clear call with stellar imagery. Additionally, instant language translations will be all the more possible with a 10G connection.
With 10G nearby, robots, with the help of AI, are closer than ever to being a part of everyday life. And robots are more than just the AI voice tools many people now use everyday (think Amazon’s Alexa or iPhone’s Siri). Ultra sophisticated, artificial mascots, like robotic dogs, will become much more common. So while robots have been around for quite some time, 10G will help to bring in newer models capable of much more. With the right broadband connection, Sony’s AIBO robotic dogs, for example, have the ability to “grow” and learn alongside humans, understand commands, and engage in human activities (without having to be cleaned up after like real pets). The possibilities for this type of technology are limitless for seniors, people with disabilities, or those who need additional help with chores in the home.
10G is coming to upend daily life in the best way possible and the future looks better than ever.