Fiber, The Data Connection of The Future

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Last month I wrote an article about the proliferation of tablet devices in a desktop and laptop dominated workplace.  Although tablets are making a case for their necessity and rightful place in the business technology world, they are not the PC replacements the tech companies want them to be.  One thing that will give tablets more of a chance at the game is the availability of high-speed Internet.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that just ten years ago, we were eager to get a gigabit T1 connection.  Much like Moore’s Law, there is a similar law that the speed of bandwidth seems to follow.  In other words, your bandwidth speed will historically increase by roughly 40% annually.  Therefore, if you are taking advantage of a 10Gb connection, you will most likely be able to comparably afford a 40Gb connection in a mere couple years.

This availability of high-speed internet ‘pipes’ is what will make comprehensive cloud services, and tablets replacing PCs, a reality.  Take for example LTE on your mobile devices.  I don’t think people understand how fast LTE is until they get it; it is becoming as fast as most cable Internet providers.  I just got an LTE phone, and I’m amazed at how fast the connection is.  In addition, in regards to data connections, the Internet ‘pipeline’ of the near future is fiber optics.

Fiber is not being talked about from the perspective of some experimental test, it is actually being actively deployed.  When DSL first came out, all the telecom companies were pushing DLS, investing a lot of time and money into DSL networks.  DSL was a huge product to get bandwidth.  I’m seeing the same thing with fiber now.  All the major telecom companies are building fiber optic networks, and the cost of fiber is coming down because of that.  In fact, you can get fiber optic data for what used to be the cost of a T1 connection just three years ago.

The truth is, fiber really scales.  Think of it this way.  Having a cable connection is like driving on a 5-lane highway, except it’s during rush hour traffic because everyone else is on that highway.  Having a fiber connection is more like driving on an 8-lane highway, except you’re the only one on the road.  It’s the Autobahn.

If you expect your business to continue growing, you must consider the benefits of increasing your data bandwidth.  In addition, if you are in an area that has access to fiber, I strongly suggest you invest in the technology.  And, over the next few years, I expect most SMB businesses to be looking into fiber, as it will ultimately give you faster speeds on a more stable technology.