Cable Industry Hypes Phony '10G' When 5G Isn't Even Available Yet

from the fluff-and-nonsense dept

We’ve repeatedly noted how while fifth-generation (5G) wireless should someday deliver faster, more efficient wireless networks, the technology itself has been embarrassingly over-hyped, largely thanks to network vendor and cellular carrier marketing departments. It’s going to take years before users actually see a healthy selection of actual 5G devices in the wild (Apple’s 5G iPhone won’t launch until 2020 or later). And despite carrier promises, deploying these upgrades to traditionally ignored rural and less affluent urban markets will take years. 5G also won’t magically fix the vast dysfunction in the telecom sector.

With 5G hype running amok, the cable industry thought it might be a good idea to inject another entire layer of confusion into the proceedings. At CES, cable operators have started marketing something they’re calling 10G, despite the fact that 10G isn’t actually a thing. The cable industry’s top lobbying and policy organization, the NCTA, announced the not-really-a-thing advancement over at their website, where former FCC boss turned cable lobbyist Mike Powell proclaimed that the cable industry’s 10G network plans would somehow be a game changer:

“With groundbreaking, scalable capacity and speeds, the 10G platform is the wired network of the future that will power the digital experiences and imaginations of consumers for years to come,? said NCTA President and CEO Michael Powell. ?As an industry, we are dedicated to delivering an exceptional national infrastructure that will power digital advancement and propel our innovation economy into the future.”

In reality, this is not new technology. Cable’s simply referring to the ongoing updates to the DOCSIS 3.1 standard the cable industry has used for years. One update in particular, full duplex tech, was unveiled by CableLabs a few years back, and should eventually allow the cable sector to deploy speeds upwards of 10 Gbps to consumer homes (and more importantly, provide faster upstream speeds). But again, this tech isn’t new, isn’t really “10G,” and most consumers are still waiting for 1 Gbps downstream speeds the industry promised years ago.

And while the cable sector is planning trials for this faster cable technology in 2020, there’s no truly solid timeline on deployment, and even then, consumer speeds may never actually reach 10 Gbps at any real scale. The current DOCSIS 3.1 standard is already theoretically capable of 10 Gbps downstream, but most users see at best 1 Gbps down, 35 Mbps up in areas its deployed, making it notably less exciting than full, symmetrical fiber broadband. And that’s of course before you mention the high prices and unnecessary usage caps that tend to undermine cable sector speed advancements.

Undaunted, cable industry PR folks not only crafted a new logo for this nonexistent standard, it’s somehow trying to claim that it will somehow protect an “open internet” and consumer privacy, despite the cable industry having just spent millions upon millions of dollars to crush consumer protections on both fronts:

It appears the cable industry saw all the hype wireless carriers were generating with 5G, and simply decided to try and piggyback on the hype parade by calling its existing, long-standing, and arguably boring cable technology something else. It then tried to claim this nonexistent standard would magically protect net neutrality and privacy. And while some telecom trade mags were quick to parrot the hype, the announcement was otherwise met with justified yawns and <a href=”skepticism directed at an industry that just can’t seem to understand why the majority of Americans don’t really like them.

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Companies: ncta

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Comments on “Cable Industry Hypes Phony '10G' When 5G Isn't Even Available Yet”

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47 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

10G? Bah, that's so last year.

Now wireless needs to respond by pointing to the ‘imminent rollout’ of 15G, claim it provides a free kitten and/or puppy each time you connect, wired can shoot back by pointing out that their ‘just around the corner’ 20G provides customers with winning lotto tickets for every installation…

I figure in a couple of months we’ll be in the triple digits of hype, paired with world peace and elimination of cancer for even thinking of signing up, as all the while the current networks(and customers) are treated with the indifferent disdain they always have been.

Anonymous Coward says:

i wonder who is gonna be first to try to present 10g as being attainable? considering 5g is years away, 4g is spity and, like broadband, no one wants to spend any money achieving it for customers other than those in major cities. all those outside have to put up with whatever shit service they can get. thanks very much, Congress, for being your usual, gutless, money grabbing, self-serving bunch of assholes!!

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t see why the faster speed is even needed. What, so you can hit the 1TB cap that much faster. Because it’s the same 1TB cam no matter what speed you pay for already. The 1TB CAP is a joke. So y ou pay more money to hit the CAP faster and then they charge you more money for your service that month as you went past the cap. It’s such a scam.

If they don’t have enough bandwidth as it is, (Which is B.S.) but their excuse to have CAPS, then having even faster speed would just be dumb as it would really overload their network.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: '5/10G: Now you can hit your monthly cap even faster!'

Isn’t it delightful how their own actions shoot their hype in the back?

Saying a car can hit 120 mph in 6 seconds is meaningless if it’s built to shut the engine down once it tops 60 mph after all. Likewise advertising even faster speeds(‘almost as good as what other countries already get!’) is meaningless if the connection is capped and you’ll be paying through the nose for actually using that ‘fast’ connection.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: '5/10G: Now you can hit your monthly cap even faster!'

Likewise advertising even faster speeds[…] is meaningless if the connection is capped and you’ll be paying through the nose for actually using that ‘fast’ connection.

I’d love to see truth-in-advertising laws force them to list a "minimum time until you hit your monthly cap". Which is under 15 minutes for a 1 TB cap at "10G".

Anonymous Coward says:

There seems be a broken link or something that isn’t work properly here:

"And while some telecom trade mags were quick to parrot the hype, the announcement was otherwise met with justified yawns and skepticism directed at an industry that just can’t seem to understand why the majority of Americans don’t really like them."

The link in the word "skepticism" either leads me to a 404 error, or back to this article.

Anonymous Coward says:

IIts ridiculous that a company can put a 5 g logo on a phone when theres not even real 5g networks
running in the us .Even when 5g is avaidable
most american networks will probably have a limited
amount of data you will be able to use per month .
So consumers may hardly be even better off than they are now except they might be able to load videos
faster if they are close to a 5g tower .I predict most networks will default
to 4g speeds outside citys and urban area,s ,
since the 5g spec requires a lot more cell towers to be built than 4g ,
eg 5g has a limited range compared with a 4g signal.
Ssomeone will have to pay for the billlions it will cost to build a 5g network.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

And therein lies the confusion. “5G” doesn’t mean “5 GB”, it means “5th generation”. The ISPs dropping in and claiming “10G” is likely to mean “10 GB”. This article’s author seems to be deliberately muddying the waters by pretending 10G is somehow related to 5G. That may be the ISPs’ fault though there isn’t enough detail in the article to tell where the blame for this lies.

ryuugami says:

Undaunted, cable industry PR folks not only crafted a new logo for this nonexistent standard, it’s somehow trying to claim that it will somehow protect an "open internet" and consumer privacy

Hah, check the pictures.

"Unleashing connectivity and entertainment" is an almost-deserted street, so it’s dreadfully boring and almost no-one is using it to get anywhere.

"Supporting an open internet" is another road. A city road, which are as closed as it gets with public roads.

But my favorite is the last one, "protecting consumer privacy", with a photo of a user’s computer screen plastered over billboards or wherever they’re putting those. Yup, that sounds about right 😀

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