Ken's Korner Newsletter Logo July 2021

What is coming next in the world of computers and technology?

That has been something of an ongoing mystery for decades. At this time there are a lot of things. One of the biggies is 10G.

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You have probably heard of 5G. That is the fifth generation of cell phone technology. 10G is something totally different. 10G is the next great leap for broadband. It is a trademark of The Internet & Television Association, (NCTA). It refers to the speed that data travels through the network to you. Currently some of the state of-the-art hybrid-fiber coaxial (HFC) systems can provide about 1Gbps download speeds and about 35Mbps. 10G is full duplex, that is the upload and download speeds are the same, (or very close).

Higher speeds, lower latency and improved security are a few of the advantages of 10G. A key point of the 10G rollout is that it uses the existing cable infrastructure. There is no need to dig up streets and fields nor the need to get permits to do so. You may need to get a new cable modem that meets the new DOCSIS 4.0, (Data Over Cable Services Interface Specifications) to see the full benefit of 10G. In many cases the modem, (sometimes referred to as the gateway) is provided by the ISP as part of the service.

I am old enough to remember quirky dial-up modems and “speeds” limited to 56Kbits so I really appreciate the speed part of this. For those of you who are not so ancient here are some of the other benefits of faster data:

  • Education and training can utilize advanced collaboration tools like head mounted displays and video walls.
  • Streaming video in high definition without any lag time to millions of subscribers.
  • Online gaming with richer graphics and increased responsiveness.
  • Businesses will benefit because geographical issues and the need to travel will be reduced.

The improved network management of 10G means that many connectivity problems can be detected and resolved before they become apparent. It also means that many security risks can be detected and mitigated before they can get into your system.

When is this going to happen?
In some places it has already started. In October 2020 Comcast delivered 1.25 symmetrical speeds over a live network by leveraging a combination of network protocols. In April of 2021 Comcast conducted the first-ever test of the Full Duplex DOCSIS system-on-chip built by Broadcom. Recently CableLabs announced Intelligent Wireless Network Steering (iWiNS). This is a technology to enable seamless transition over different wireless networks like LTE, WiFi, CBRS and others. The combination of new hardware and network protocols is the key to achieving the 10G speeds.

What does this mean for the consumer?
In 2020 Mediacom Communications introduced its 10G Smart Home at an event in Ames Iowa. The model home featured over seventy connected devices. The increased use of computers, mobile units streaming, smart devices and IOT demands reliable high speeds both upstream and downstream.

I think most of the reasons for needing 10G haven’t even been thought of yet. When High-Definition TV first became available there was very little HD content. A few ads and maybe a movie now and then. Now everything is at least HD, (1080p) or better and even 4xHD is being surpassed. The best is yet to come

What other new technology is on the horizon?
Well for one Microsoft has announced the coming of Windows 11. So, stay tuned for more new technology. The future is just getting started.


And remember — always back it up!



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