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Do we have a symmetrical broadband future?

You’ve probably noticed that you can almost always download files much quicker than you can upload them. This is because regular broadband lines give you more bandwidth in one direction at the expense of the other to satisfy the much higher demand to download content quickly.
But what does the future hold and are we going to see more need for upload bandwidth to meet the new demands of modern life? Will an increase in upload bandwidth encourage new services to emerge that were never possible or practical before? Is symmetrical broadband the future?

Chatting, streaming, cameras and screens

It’s easy to forget how much visual technology has improved in just 15 years. We’ve gone from taking tiny photos on flip-phones and paying through the nose for the privilege to share them, to being able to record Ultra High Definition video on a smartphone and share it with millions of people across the world for free.

Most of the major social media platforms now let you live stream video content to your friends, family and beyond. Front-facing cameras have improved dramatically on phones so we can now make higher quality video calls. Gamers are playing online at 4K 120fps (20x as much data as standard HD) and wanting to stream it live to the internet. As screens and cameras improve, people are going to demand an internet connection that can accommodate this new quality with much higher upload speeds needed. Will symmetrical broadband be essential to accommodate all this change?

Home working

More and more people are starting to work from home, even if it’s just the occasional days, and with that comes the need for quality and reliable internet. Some companies will need you to use a VoIP phone that relies on the internet, as well as web-based software and remote access systems that need constant, stable access to an online database to work. With more resources being stored in cloud file systems such as OneDrive, media is also frequently being uploaded and downloaded with each ‘open’ and ‘save’.

Working from home with symmetrical broadband
Internet of Things on Symmetrical Broadband

Internet of Things (IoT)

The future of homes is very clearly connected devices. Fridges, ovens, thermostats, lightbulbs, doors – these are all things you can already buy Wi-Fi enabled and the list will only get longer. A huge recent development is Amazon’s new flagship store that’s swarming with sensors tracking every movement and change. This technology will inevitably end up in more and more stores, but will we start to see such heavy use of data in our own homes too and how much will that be uploading?

Are you already being limited by your upload bandwidth? Are there any other upload uses that we’ve missed? Do you think symmetrical broadband is the future? Let us know in the comments.

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