BT Infinity just got faster, a whole lot faster. Their upgraded broadband network can now deliver ‘ground breaking’ speeds of up to 160Mbps in some areas, making it ‘13x faster than the UK average’.1 Ground breaking though it may be, this also raises a question. What are people going to do with it?
The Fibre Optic Space Race
Is anyone looking at their 40Mbps broadband and saying, “this is just not fast enough?” I am connected to (up to) 80Mbps in my home and I cannot think of any circumstances where I could possibly need more.
Is this just a fibre optic broadband space race? Are the ISPs building network infrastructure that exceeds requirements just to prove that they can? Or are there some online services keeping pace with the upgrade?
If there are any currently available online services that need such a connection, I can’t think of any. Please comment below if you can. I love to hear about it!
While services such as Netflix, iPlayer, Now TV, and Lovefilm already stream well on a 2Mbps connection, what about 4K TV? A Netflix 4K streaming service is rumoured to be on its way and I’d be interested to know the type of bandwidth it will require. Red have announced more details on their RedRay player with an estimated requirement of around 20Mbps which keeps with what we have been lead to expect from the new H.265 codec which ranges from 20Mbps – 30Mbps. Will it be great enough to justify a home 160Mbps connection? I doubt very much that it will. Unless of course you have eight 4K TVs and want to stream different content to all of them simultaneously.
Other Networks Are Available
It is worth mentioning that while BT are retailing 160Mbps, other providers will also be taking advantage of this new 160Mbps network. For example, Sky have also announced their high speed intentions.
------------- Notes: This post is in reference to BT Infinitiy for home users. 160Mbps connections may prove useful for businesses that need to transfer sizable files in a hurry.