We will look back on 2020 as the year that having broadband or high-speed Internet in your household went from being a luxury to a necessity.
Prior to COVID-19, the need for Internet speed was focused on streaming videos and gaming, but for the foreseeable future families are relying on bandwidth to keep up in a world of remote work Zoom calls and online classes.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic we were living in an increasingly connected world that demanded higher Internet speeds. Cisco in its Annual Internet Report estimated that by 2023 there would be 13.6 connected devices for every person in the United States.
What is Considered High-Speed Internet in 2020
What is considered high speed when it comes to Internet connections is constantly changing as technology evolves. 20 years ago the typical home Internet connection was 56 Kbps dial-up. Those lucky enough to afford a double ISDN connection had 128 Kbps.
Today’s low-end Internet speeds are 50 to 100 times faster than those old modems. The FCC defines broadband or high-speed Internet as a minimum of 25 Mbps download speeds and 3+ Mbps upload speeds.
Average Internet Speeds by Service
While there are other types of Internet service available, such as satellite and wireless, the three most popular are DSL, cable, and Fiber.
DSL connections operate via traditional copper telephone lines and provide download speeds ranging from 5 Mbps to 35 Mbps.
Cable connections operate via the same coaxial cables that supply pictures and sound to television sets and feature download speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 500 Mbps, though the top-end speed is rare.
Meanwhile, fiber Internet connections are the fastest available, providing download speeds that start at 250 Mbps, and reach a blazing 1,000 Mbps. You can test your own speed see what it is.
Speeds by Upload and Download
Internet services have both upload and a download speed. DSL and cable services are asynchronous, which means their upload speeds are different from their download speeds.
Typically, your download speed, for streaming a video for example, will be much faster than your upload speed, which is needed for uploading files or playing a video game. Fiber Internet service is symmetrical so download and upload speeds are the same.
Broadbandnow.com estimates the download and upload speeds for each service as:
- DSL: Download speeds 5-35 Mbps; upload speeds 1-10 Mbps
- Cable: Download speeds 10-500 Mbps; upload speeds 5-50 Mbps
- Fiber: Download and upload speeds 250-1,000 Mbps.
How Much Speed Do You Need?
If you look at downloading tasks you perform at home then you can see the difference Internet speed can make.
Take downloading a 5 mb Spotify song or a 300 mb Netflix show or a 10 GB Blu-ray Amazon Prime movie:
- Song: takes four seconds to download with a 10 Mbps DSL connection; one seconds to download with a 100 Mbps cable connection and a fraction of a second at a 1,000 Mpbs fiber connection.
- Television Show: DSL takes four minutes, 24 second to download; cable requires 1:45 and fiber connection could download it in two seconds.
- Blu-Ray Movie: DSL download is almost as long as the movie at two hours, 30 minutes. cable takes an hour to download; and fiber needs just 90 seconds.
Signs You Need More Speed
If you are experiencing any of the following, you might need more Internet speed:
- Video conferencing calls lag, drop or the video freezes.
- Buffering problems with streaming videos when multiple people in your household are on their devices.
- Smart home devices do not function properly and react slow to commands.
- Programs and applications fail to back-up to the cloud as scheduled.
- Websites take a long time to load or time out completely.
We will continue to need more speed. Cisco estimated that in 2018 the average broadband speed in the US was 58.9 Mbps, but that will almost triple to 143.6 Mbps by 2023.
Fiber will continue to be the fastest path in our connected world, with speeds anywhere from 10 to 100 times faster than other services. For more information about high-speed Internet for your office, contact PS Lightwave today.
PS LIGHTWAVE provides high-speed, fiber Internet for public and private commercial entities in the Greater Houston and surrounding areas.
Through our high-quality infrastructure, innovative technology and expert, locally based support, we deliver not only the best in connectivity and reliability but in scalability and redundancy. We invite you to learn more about our services, our history and our dedicated team.