Hyperoptic tests 10 Gbps connections for homes
Hyperoptic at the premises served by build-to-rent provider Get Living has been testing 10 Gbps connectivity at East Village which was the site of the 2012 Athletes village with the trail described as being based on the leading full fibre technology with fibre optic network going all the way into the customers home.
This sounds a little different to the majority of Hyperoptic installs we've seen where fibre media converters are installed on a utility cabinet on each floor of apartment blocks and then Ethernet cabling ran into each apartment. It may be that the fibre is going into a utility cupboard inside each flat. 10 Gbps is not a common connection option on consumer devices but you can get laptops with 10GbE connectivity.
The amount of internet data used by people in the UK is growing by around half every year. So we’ll increasingly need full-fibre broadband services like this to provide faster, more reliable connections and capacity to our homes and offices. We’re seeing real momentum behind full-fibre, with bigger and bolder commitments from companies of all sizes to build broadband that can support the UK’s digital future.Sharon White, Ofcom Chief Executive who was in attendance to witness trial
While we agree with the Ofcom CEO that usage is increasing year on year the levels of usage are a long way from justifying a major roll-out of 10 Gbps connectivity, and already services that offer 1 Gbps have customers discovering that services such as PlayStation Network and Xbox live cannot exploit the full bandwidth. The Steam Store with its massively multi-thread, multiple location downloads though should be able to saturate a 1 Gbps and probably a 10 Gbps connection. The biggest elephant in the room is Virgin Media with 300 Mbps and 350 Mbps services and once Liberty Global turns on DOCSIS 3.1 will be offering 500 Mbps and 1 Gbps type speeds and over cable infrastructure that has been in the ground for years.
It maybe that Hyperoptic has proof of downloading a 25GB Xbox in 20 seconds versus 33 minutes on a 100 Mbps connection, but based on what we've seen where even VDSL2 customers cannot max out their connections we remain sceptical to this claim and suspect it may be a calculation rather than an actual game download. The vast majority of video these days is not downloaded, so once you get speeds above 5 Mbps (HD Streaming) and 25 Mbps (UHD Streaming) then for the majority of people there is little difference between a 50 Mbps and a 500 Mbps connection, other than the ability to have more and more people streaming their own content. Hyperoptic give an example of a 75GB UHD movie downloading in just 1 minute compared to 1 hour 40 on a 100 Mbps connection, and while we have seen video at this bit rate that has only been in edit suites, Netflix, Amazon and YouTube Ultra HD content is generally encoded at a rate of around 20 to 30 Mbps, and live Ultra HD can be higher bit rates of 40 to 45 Mbps if the video encoder wants to maintain quality while still encoding live content. So your challenge on reading this if you choose to accept it is to find some UHD content encoded at 150 Mbps that is easily and legally available online.