5G Is Coming Quickly & Will Change Cord Cutting Forever

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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  • Dogman

    Maybe then we can get some halfway decent internet speeds here at a better price point than what’s currently offered by our 1 ISP (oh yeah it’s the Mayor that owns the ISP service)!

    • @lphaConsumer

      “Mayor that owns the ISP service”…..Where do you live, Mayberry?!

      • Dogman

        Not Mayberry but pretty close to it!

  • ts2007

    A lot of this sounds like hype. Not sure if anyone has compare the previous hype over LTE with what LTE has actually delivered. Even if 5G is technically able to deliver sustainable broadband speeds (LTE can do that right now), the business aspects may not let it deliver to make it cost effective or meaningful for end consumers for several years.

    • Brandon

      Exactly! When LTE first came out I got 40 megabits… then everyone else got LTE phones and the speed kept decreasing as more people joined the network.

      • Cenarl

        5G i supposed to greatly increase capacity, plus they’ll probably also just simply build more towers since it can also be used as home broadband. While I usually make fun of the lack of competition, AT&T and verizon will be very serious about home broadband as that’s millions of new customers they can steal from cable.

        However unless we can elect anti monopoly/oligarchy politicians, AT&T and Verizon will eventually buy all ISPs and we’ll all pay $200 for internet. Seems like most of cable is already begging for someone to buy them before their shares take a hit. Despite being insanely profitable, 5G will reduce their value to only incredibly profitable once it steals customers and shareholders will want to bail now.

      • Victor M

        I’ve always gotten a minimum speed of 40Mbps on Verizon since LTE was deployed. The max speed has topped out at 140Mbps downtown Chicago

    • Ottis Jim

      It doesn’t need to have the speed of a high end wired connection for many casual internet users (non gamers / non streamers) what it does need to do is be widely available at a reasonable price to threaten the Comcast’s type monopolies subscriber numbers and force competition and price wars.

      • ts2007

        For the purpose of this audience, we cannot ignore streamers. Otherwise it is no threat to comcast. This probably restricts us to at-least 15 – 20 mbps (multiple HD streams/home) for static home based users. There is probably some improvement in spectrum efficiency in 5G but to provide the kind of increase in bandwidth that this will require (depending on penetration of streaming users), the mobile carriers will need a lot more spectrum, which i have not seen happening yet. This is not something that they have hidden secretly in their back pocket. There is only so much they can squeeze out of improvement in spectrum efficiency and the current spectrum available. It will take them several years to acquire spectrum and then roll it out.

    • In testing 5G gets gigabyte speeds so even if it only gets 1/3 of that in real world that is still 300+ Mbps down. More than enough to stream etc.

    • @lphaConsumer

      There’s a lot to speculate with 5G as with any new technology and the LTE example (Brandon) is a good history lesson. I do, however, agree with Ottis and Luke in that 5G doesn’t need to have super high speed to bring in real competition to the current monopolistic ISPs.

  • CX1

    Ya Clearwire worked so well..jk. Sounds great until you look at the data limits.

    • Chris K.

      That’s exactly what I’ve thought whenever 5G is mentioned. Why should we have any reason to think these specific companies are going to offer plans without data caps?

      • Cenarl

        They won’t convince many people to drop cable unless they can provide at least reasonable caps for mainstream users, any existing cable with caps will probably quickly drop their caps if they want to compete.

  • mr Dave

    I am ‘mildly’ hopeful that this will introduce competition into ISP. What the article doesn’t mention is this 1) Verizon is also looking into buying Charter Communications and 2) there are no statements from T-mobile, Verizon or At&T of going delivering home internet that competes with Comcast, Charter, ect. They’ve proven in the past that they want to go after quick profits rather than long term growth. In fact the only hope we have is that Google will expand it’s network with 5g/wireless doing the last mile. That seems to be the ONLY thing that brings either faster speeds or lower prices.