The nbn have just published a pretty fantastic post that looks at connected tech trends that will see us consuming even more data in the future. This amazingly timed article comes the day after our Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, appeared on the ABC’s QandA program and told Australia that they don’t ultra fast internet.
The very first item in the post is 8K TVs, which of course are in development and in the coming years, will replace 4K TVs. As one of only a few people in Australia that’s actually seen an 8K TV in real life (CES, Las Vegas 2015), I can attest the stunning leap forward 8K makes, even over the gorgeous 4K currently sold in stores.
As 4K TVs and 4K movie streaming services like Netflix become readily available, the 2,3 and even 4 TVs we have in our homes will be upgraded to 4K. During QandA, Joyce tried to argue that a Netflix stream will require just 5Mpbs. As good as Netflix compression and quality scaling is, you can still expect buffering of a HD on a connection like that. Given 4K streams are many magnitudes hungrier for data than HD, and HDR versions requiring even more bandwidth, there is no world where Joyce is correct. Remember that in the next couple of years, your house will likely need to stream multiple 4K video streams from the web, while you’re browsing the web on your phone or tablets and possibly at the same time they’re backing up to the cloud.
The best way to test what the public wants is to see what they buy.
I take massive issue with this statement, if Apple followed this approach, we wouldn’t have iPhones. Because we’ve got so bogged down in the battle of the right technology, we’ve missed the opportunity to dream about what’s possible with high-speed internet and for those consumer who aren’t enthusiasts, assume they don’t need a faster connection than the one they had on ADSL, so go with the cheaper option. If they were educated about the potential benefits and opportunities, their decisions would be different.
Right now Japanese broadcaster are testing 8K streams and at the Rio Olympics this year, much of it will be captured be captured in 8K. This means the NBN is right in that 8K is coming and we all need big, fat pipes to consume it.
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) June 6, 2016
In contrast, Independent Tony Windsor said
Build it once, build it properly, build it with fibre
While personally I absolutely agree with that approach, it is noteworthy that we’re more than half way through the election campaign and Labor still haven’t announced an updated NBN plan. The project is at a very different point now, than it was when they left office. More than 2 Million premises could get an NBN service and more than 1 Million households have, so with the mixed-mode connectivity (FTTN and Satellite) the horse has bolted on this and the chance for Australia to have an all-fibre (93%) network prospect has been lost to the history books.