Welcome to a very special episode (er, edition) of Gigabites. This week, EPB lays out its 100-Gig roadmap, schools study their options for gigabit applications, Santa Cruz preps for gigabit wireless and more.
Speaking at Gigabit Cities Live, EPB Fiber Optics executive Colman Keane revealed that 100-Gig speeds are on the company's year-to-year roadmap. That's not hyperbole, and it's not a vague promise of exponential speed increases. EPB created one of the first gigabit cities in the country in Chattanooga and has roughly 6,000 gigabit customers today. It's also among the first companies testing next-generation PON technology and deploying 10-Gig services to both business and residential subscribers. Keane believes the demand for greater broadband capacity will only continue to grow, and EPB plans to be ready when it does. (See Gigabites: EPB Signs First 10-Gig Customer.)
Keane was also among those at Gigabit Cities Live to share new insights into why gigabit and multi-gigabit speeds are so important. As Keane explained it, speed was used as a proxy for latency when EPB first installed gigabit broadband to power communications in its smart grid network. Total capacity was less important than the ability to ensure fast response times.
Today, latency continues to be important, but so too is the capacity for running high-bandwidth applications. For example, students in a Chattanooga high school lab are relying on gigabit broadband to learn from scientists at the University of Southern California, and to manipulate a 4K microscope 1,800 miles away. (See Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps.)
According to US Ignite COO Joe Kochan, other schools are interested in emulating the Chattanooga/USC model, and professors in other scientific disciplines are looking at how to share their equipment and expertise in similar ways.
Kochan also talked about the future ability to offer services like telemedicine in schools, which could give students necessary healthcare consultation and treatment while also keeping them on site on school grounds.
Broadband that solves education and healthcare problems? It's no wonder EPB is planning for the 100-Gig future.
Not all of this week's gigabit news came from Gigabit Cities Live, though much of it did. (See AT&T GigaPower Ready to RSVP, Charlotte CIO: It's Not Just the Gig Network and Google: Gigabit Hopefuls Need to Do Homework.)
In other headlines:
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading