The Road to Multi-Gigabit Internet Service…

To say I was caught off guard last month when I randomly stumbled upon a news release stating that my ISP, Frontier, was going to start offering 2 Gbps service for 2/22 Tuesday would be an understatement!

I mean, this is the company that I’ve fought for simple upgrades for years and not too long ago had a CEO who was quoted as saying, “People don’t really need gigabit…”

After finally getting to that mystical 1,000 Mbps speed a couple of years ago at a sub-$100 price, I kind of figured that was going to be as good as it got for a while – maybe until cable got the upper-hand with a symmetrical option that they’ve been lagging behind for years … but instead, I guess Christmas came early this year because, well…

Of course, it’s excessive!

In fact, right now I don’t have a single machine on my network that can take advantage of 2 Gbps Internet – the above speed test was done straight from my router! While I have 10 Gbps NICs in all of my servers, I still need to pickup a 10 Gbps switch for them to connect to, which I’m planning to do next month.

In the meantime, however, I am still seeing faster speeds because I think the local GPON node that I was connected to was overloaded, so when they moved me over to XGS-PON, I saw my gigabit links better able to actually utilize their full speed. And granted, aside from downloading movies and TV shows, I don’t really need this kind of speed … Zoom calls and YouTube streaming even across multiple devices only needs a fraction of it, but what can I say – a big part of being an early adopter of technology is bragging rights, anyways!

It’s kind of exciting, though, to think that 5 or even 10 Gbps Internet is possible down the road in the near future – I think I saw an article saying Frontier was considering 5 Gbps this year! Just looking at the last 10 years that I’ve been lucky enough to have a fiber internet connection, we’ve seen speeds increase by x80…

2012Verizon FiOS25 Mbps
2013Verizon FiOS50 Mbps / 25 Mbps
2014Verizon FiOS50 Mbps
2015Verizon FiOS75 Mbps
2015Verizon FiOS150 Mbps
2018Frontier FiOS200 Mbps
2019Frontier FiOS500 Mbps
2019Frontier FiOS1 Gbps
2022Frontier Fiber2 Gbps

As I’m finding with my own upgrades, moving beyond 1 gigabit is a bit more complicated because most consumer gear is limited to 1-gig, so anything above means new routers and switches, new NICs, and even new wifi access points … and even then individual devices are limited by the servers they’re getting data from, so after upgrading my entire network stack it’s not like browsing Facebook or Twitter will suddenly be moving at double the speed!

But hey, we’re having fun, so that’s what’s important, right?!

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