In January of 2019, the global cable industry announced its vision for building super-fast broadband networks that would be capable of delivering 10 gigabits per second, called 10G. Fast forward to 2022 and the journey to 10G has rapidly progressed to the point that multi-gigabit symmetrical services are on the horizon for 2023.
With 29 billion devices expected to be connected to the internet in 2023, the need for broadband networks that can meet the demands of today and well into the future is clear. With 10G, innovators will be able to create a wide variety of new services and applications that will revolutionize everything about the way we live, learn, work, and play.
10G will become reality by upgrading today’s fiber-rich networks with a combination of software, hardware and other techniques. To date, cable operators have increased fiber capacity on existing optical access networks, outlined a global baseline for network security best practices, and successfully tested 10G modems.
Four Glimpses Into the Future
While the “how we get to 10G” is a critical element of delivering on its promise, just as important is the “how can 10G change our lives” in ways that we can all relate to. To better understand this, NCTA partnered with the Future Today Institute (FTI), experts in researching trends and calculating how they will disrupt business, government and society. Amy Webb, CEO and Founder of FTI, pioneered a data-driven, technology-led foresight methodology that is now used within hundreds of organizations.
In exploring how 10G will transform our lives, FTI focused on four key critical industries – agriculture, healthcare, education and entertainment – and use cases within each. A snapshot of each provides just a glimpse into the transformative power of 10G.
Smart farming ecosystems capable of responding to economic and environmental challenges will be powered by 10G. In practice, sensors and nanotechnology will allow farmers to monitor all aspects of farming in real-time resulting in better resource management. That looks like drones picking fruit inspected by cameras for ripeness or connected sensors monitoring animals' health and welfare while virtual geofences route them to optimal grazing grounds.
In urban areas, AI systems will enable scalable production in very different environments with autonomous robots harvesting produce. These systems will also allow individuals to grow their own produce, creating personalized diets based on their health data.
Learn more about 10G and agriculture.
Abundant data and connectivity translate to patients in charge of their healthcare decisions from the comfort of home, thanks to powerful 10G networks. Wearables, smart-home sensors, and personal devices will capture health data and store it in the cloud—where patients can decide who gets access. Many medical appointments will be able to take place at home, where immersive virtual reality (VR) experiences help maintain mental health, synthetic coaches advise on diet and exercise, and robotic assistants help the elderly or immobilized.
Outside the home, fully connected health-management systems will give first responders access to vital health information at critical moments. It will also make medical specialists available to all, including through remote and robotic surgery. This will empower even the most remote medical centers to have access to the highest-quality care.
Learn more about 10G and healthcare.
With learning no longer limited by physical boundaries, 10G will enable educational experiences that transcend the walls of a home or school. Children will be able to immersively experience other countries, engaging to learn foreign languages. Lessons will be enhanced and personalized by artificial intelligence to adjust to each student’s interests and needs. 3D screens will bring history to life with important world figures appearing as holograms during class. And creativity will be augmented by digital brushes and color palettes available through smart glasses.
At home, digital companions can help children with homework, which will provide valuable data to teachers and parents about learning progress and challenges. As physical location will no longer be a constraint, student support can be organized through digital assistants and study groups with human or synthetic guides.
Learn more about 10G and education.
In a 10G future, the home will turn into an entertainment center the likes of which few could imagine. Instead of being limited to screens, smart cameras will create spatial maps of environments and overlay imagery onto surroundings. This imagery may take the form of 3D projections of characters, allowing viewers to be a part of the adventure. Jets of air around holograms will replicate a sense of touch, spatial audio earbuds will create realistic soundscapes, and connected scent devices will round out the sensory experience. Meanwhile, at sporting events, fans equipped with smart glasses will be able to engage like never before, zooming in on athletes and even experiencing the game from their perspective.
Learn more about 10G and entertainment.
The Need for Speed
While the future is hard to predict, one thing is certain: the power of broadband and the upcoming potential of 10G will create limitless possibilities in every realm of life, all within the home. This future of the internet, with advances in broadband infrastructure that will deliver lightning fast speeds and near zero latency, is around the corner. Before we know it, a world of transformed agriculture, healthcare, education, and entertainment will be here.