Buffalo Technology recently started shipping the world’s first 802.11ac WiFi router. It’s notable because it can move data at 1300 megabits per second. If you buy that router and then connect it to your ADSL modem that provides you with a 3 megabit per second connection to the internet, then you’re obviously not going to take full advantage of the capabilities of said router. That’s the problem that America’s wireless networks are currently experiencing. According to Hunter Newby, the CEO of Allied Fiber, of the 250,000 to 300,000 cell towers in the United States, less than 25% of them are connected via fiber. In other words, AT&T, Verizon, whoever, can spend as much money as they want on a state of the art LTE Advanced cell tower, but if they’re connecting a T1 to it, then it’s simply going to waste.
Now Hunter is in the business of selling fiber connectivity to companies, so of course he’s going to say that his solution is the best, but what else is out there? Operators can go with good old copper, but that presents a speed and distance issue. They can go with microwave, but that adds latency and requires spectrum. Fiber just makes a ton of sense here. It’s scalable, meaning it can go faster simply by upgrading the nodes, it doesn’t degrade over long distances, and while it does cost a lot of money, it doesn’t need that much maintenance; glass either works or it doesn’t.
At the end of the day though, having coverage is better than not having coverage. An operator can have all the fiber in the world, but if they don’t cover your neighborhood then what’s the point? It sucks that data traffic slows to a crawl as you’re commuting to and from work, but that’s life.
Don’t like it? Use an app to cache news/podcasts/tweets.
[Via: Light Reading]