Internet is at the backbone of cord cutting, but it is also its Achilles heel. Internet allows cord cutters to stream a ton of content, but it is also a bottleneck that allows ISPs to do as they please; however, that is about to change.
Slowly 5G, a new Internet standard that will allow fiber speeds to your house wirelessly through the air, is getting ready to go live. Verizon and others such as AT&T, Dish, Charter, Google, and more are all doubling down to get ready for 5G.
This week Verizon announced a massive investment into its wireless network to prepare for 5G. To make sure it can handle the data load that will come from 5G, Verizon is spending at least $1.05 billion over the next 3 years on fiber.
That will buy Verizon 12.4 million miles of fiber every year for the next 3 years. In total Verizon will be installing over 37 million miles of fiber on top of the fiber they already have running to towers. (Any area that Verizon offers 4G already has fiber to the tower.)
According to Verizon, fiber will serve as the “cornerstone, building block for the next-generation network, and that network is going to look very different than what we’ve built in the past,” Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s chairman and CEO, said Tuesday in an interview with David Faber on CNBC, noting that the company’s coming 5G network will beef up capacity and support low-latency applications such as smart cities and autonomous cars.
The real benefit of 5G is the ability to replace in-home Internet. No longer will ISPs need to run fiber to homes but can just run it to cellphone towers, allowing new ISPs to wire towns in months not years.
This will mean for the first time in-home Internet will have true competition. You will no longer be limited to one or two Internet options but will have a long list of wireless Internet options competing with DSL and cable.
Although we are still likely a few years out as most plan to launch their networks publicly in 2020, some are already starting now. Verizon is testing 5G in 11 markets this year, and AT&T is already testing 5G in Austin, Texas.
With more options comes competition that will help force down the cost of Internet. The goal is that new competitions will prevent ISPs from doing as they please when so many of its customers have no other options.
Source: Ars Technica
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