When it comes to modern technology there are many bones to pick. Internet speed is first on my list. Cables is second. Whatever speed your internet connection might be, it’s not enough. We have a fiber connection to the premise and more than 100 Mbps. Fast right? Soon it will be 200 Mbps. Faster, right?
Yes, faster. If the rest of the internet was as fast. What 100 Mbps does is give a household the ability to get 20Mbps on five devices at the same time. The public internet, which is what the 100 Mbps fiber is connected to, crawls in most U.S. locales at less than 20 Mbps. What all that high speed fiber does is make it easier and faster to get onto a highway that is crowded with traffic.
Back in the day I worked for an internet services company that used dial up models– a few hundred of them– for 5,000 customers. Our internet connection was a T-1. That’s 1.54 Mbps. I would be crazy to complain much when actual internet access speed crawls along at 20 Mbps (we have two Macs, four iPads, two iPhones, Apple TV, and a television connected to the internet.
What happens to all that fiber when 5G wireless arrives? Probably not much. Theoretically, 5G will bring download speeds of anywhere from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbits per second (depends upon which article you read– I expect 500 Mbps to 1.5 Mbps. Theoretically. Will it be faster than local fiber connections to the internet. Yes. Theoretically. Until you use it.
Second on my list is cables. We have a drawer and a box full of cables, power bricks, and other cords that connect something to power or something to various devices, but which one goes to what? The industry could fix this overnight with a little cooperation. First, unify cables and power.
Just kidding. We all know that won’t happen.
What could happen is drop dead easy. All it would take is a standards body to assign a number to every cable, every power brick, every power cable, every cord, and ensure that it is stamped into the cable, clearly visible.
Grab the cable, look at the number, check the number online to see what device or devices it connects to. End of problem. Apple has a single Lightning cable, but do you know how many different USB cables there are these days?
Not only are there different standards– USB 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.2, there are different uses for each and different kinds of cables. That’s nuts and other than thin and light it has only escalated the number of cables we collect and dare not throw away even if we don’t know what they can or cannot do.