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Published on July 21st, 2013 | by John I.

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The Future of Broadband, Could we live without it?

Actual broadband speeds vary from country to country. Currently, the country with the highest download speed on average is South Korea at 20.4 Mbps. Japan follows at 15.8 Mbps. UK is found in third position with an average download speed  at 12 mbps and follow the Netherlands at 11 mbps, Germany at 9 Mbps, and the United States at 5.1 Mbps. The need for greater broadband speeds is basically dependent on the aspirations of individual nations, and the ability to satisfy envisioned applications over the short and long-term. South Korea, for instance, has the most ambitious plan with regard to future broadband traffic since it is aiming to raise its internet speed to 1 Gbps. Finland and Australia, on the other hand are aiming for 100 Mbps, while Germany has set a target of 50 Mbps by 2014.

The primary objective for pushing to achieve these speeds is to implement innovative health, energy, education, and civic engagement applications. Studies by the OECD claim that various applications require top bandwidth as in the case of high definition television, which demands 18 Mbps. The requirements for online gaming are 14 Mbps, 13.5 Mbps for on-demand video and IP-TV, 13.4 Mbps for smooth video conferencing, and 9 Mbps for virtual worlds. If you are unaware of your current speed you can easily compare the broadband by entering your post code here. The demand for high-speed broadband will continue to increase as the popularity of these applications rises.

Faster speeds are also critical for the utilization of new digital tools. Speeds in the range of 10 – 100 Mbps are necessary for the provision of education distance learning, digital medicine, and telemedicine, while an excess of 100 Mbps will be required for super-computing, GIS mapping, virtual reality, high definition telemedicine, and advanced research applications.

One of the motivations for South Korea to increase its networks to 1Gbps is the prevalence of its online gaming community. Popularly known as the online gaming capital of the world, South Korea has three TV cable channels dedicated to gaming, in addition to the 26,000 online game rooms found in its capital, Seoul. South Korea identifies the importance of social gathering places as a third place for people to connect when they are neither at home nor work. Digital games use 3-D graphics, virtual reality features, and multi-player platforms that require fast broadband. Also, the demand for high-speeds will continue to increase as new applications gain popularity online, such as music downloads and online films.

Increased utilization of broadband has stimulated consumer generated media through blogging, multimedia, social networking, and file sharing. However, the speed at which users may want to access these applications may also influence the growth of broadband. Mobile devices consumers claim that the most valued applications are chat or instant messaging, cheap international calling, file sharing, and video conferencing, in that order.

In actual sense, a majority of businesses require little bandwidth for various internet functions like social networking and emailing. Speed becomes a concern as businesses begin to expand and you are required to use cloud based applications or move large quantities of data quickly and securely. As such, the establishment of faster broadband speeds with at least 20 Mbps for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads will facilitate the emergence of a wide range of online applications and services that are beneficial to consumers, businesses, society, educational institutions and the economy. The primary functionalities that will be delivered to these people include: incredibly fast file transfer speeds that will enhance cloud computing; ability to use high quality video streams applications; possibilities for high-quality, true, real-time collaboration; and the ability to run multiple applications that consume large bandwidth simultaneously.



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