Next Friday I'm getting a new fibre-optic broadband line installed at my home, and it's very exciting. Because of where I live I've not been able to take advantage of existing cable services, primarily because my street is block-paved and the cable company took one look at it and said "We're not taking responsibility for putting that all back", so I've had to wait for a new project to be completed where the entire county has had FTTB (fibre to the box) installed.
This is going to give me 40Mbps broadband. I know what you're thinking, it's still nowhere near the 100Mbps some countries and even cable customers here in the UK can get, but for someone who works online, write articles here, spends just about every hour of the day surfing the Internet, watches online videos and does a lot of online gaming it's actually quite fast enough.
This will though, I am fully expecting, going to be the very last time I sign up for a home broadband connection. I don't change ISPs very often, the last time was in about 2004, but by the time my next change comes about I expect it to be a move to full 4G wireless.
Now here in the UK the governments has helpfully held up the auction of the 4G radio spectrum with seemingly endless reams of red tape, but it will inevitably happen in the next couple of years. Finally we'll (apparently) have speeds on a wireless connection that can't be matched by most home and business broadband deals. I say apparently because it entirely depends how many people use the network and for what, and also because we all remember the promises that were made about 3G in 2003.
The big problem with mobile broadband at the moment is that it is still extremely expensive, compared to a landline broadband connection anyway. I pay for a mobile SIM for my laptop at just £5 a month but for this I'm capped at 500Mb, nowhere near enough for everyday home and/or work use.
As the networks wise up to the opportunities ahead of them with 4G however we will no doubt see prices drop to compete directly with current DSL broadband lines, and 4G routers will suddenly be everywhere.
This will be a very exciting time and I'm looking forward to it. To be honest it actually seems quite strange that in this modern day and age, with Internet access being so ubiquitous, that we're all still tied to our homes for general unmetered access on PCs and laptops. Something has to change.
Suffice to say with the advent of 4G it certainly will change and when it does it'll be huge and everywhere. It doesn't matter who you are or where you live, it will be impossible to get away from the immense marketing machine that will accompany it.
I'm looking forward to it as it's going to be very exciting, a great opportunity and I don't really need the landline anyway (nobody ever calls me on it, only businesses, as people know [email protected] on the mobile). This fibre-broadband connection will very likely then be my last. What about yourselves? Will you switch wholesale to 4G?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.