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 skepticism directed at an industry that just can't seem to understand why the majority of Americans don't really like them.

Filed Under: 10g, broadband, cable, lies, made up standards
Companies: ncta


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 6:34am

    5G + 5G = 10G

    All you need is 2 x 5G phones and you're set. In fact, why not get it NOW with 5 x 2G phones, on sale at bargain prices.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Jan 2019 @ 6:38am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gary (profile), 9 Jan 2019 @ 6:44am

    Well...

    Hey without all these pesky government regulations they'd have 100G by now. And five times the support staff. And hookers!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 6:46am

    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!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 6:48am

    why don't we go to F, oh, what were already there...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 6:49am

    The cable industry calls it '10G' because that's what they're planning on charging for it if it ever rolls out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 7:03am

    They're playing games and I say ...

    GG

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 7:15am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 9 Jan 2019 @ 7:22am

      '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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        stderric (profile), 9 Jan 2019 @ 7:52am

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

        They could always give us the higher speeds with the same usage caps, and then just change the standard billing cycle to daily instead of monthly.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 8:47am

        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".

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 8:54am

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

        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.

        A more apt analogy would be an electric car that can hit 120 mph in 6 seconds, but the battery runs out before 30 miles.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 9 Jan 2019 @ 10:01am

        Guiness

        The ISPs are fighting over who will make their customers hit the caps faster.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    kallethen, 9 Jan 2019 @ 7:19am

    It's like they are all in a competition to make me facepalm the hardest. At this point I'm surprised I haven't suffered a concussion...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Drunk Uncle Sam, 9 Jan 2019 @ 7:29am

    I still do not know what 5G is.
    I guess 10G will have similar marketing hype, but it will be twice as much Gibberish.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 7:46am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Jan 2019 @ 7:48am

    10G - Our up to speed & data limit in 1 easy to remember slogan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 7:53am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Jan 2019 @ 8:27am

      Re:

      But they are not going to build 5G networks as 5G doesn't exist yet, and may never, just like 4G. Those billions are for Executive bonuses and investor dividends.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 8:33am

    Broken link

    Last link in the story (on "skepticism") appears broken.

    Looks like it was supposed to be:

    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/01/envious-of-5g-hype-cable-cos-unveil-potent ially-confusing-10g-trademark

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 9 Jan 2019 @ 8:42am

    Could have been better

    Too bad this one doesn't go to 11.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dave, 9 Jan 2019 @ 9:06am

    Next, you'll start hearing about 285,000G.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Annonymouse, 9 Jan 2019 @ 9:07am

    Call it what it is

    Lies, more lies, damn lies and fraud yet they call it marketing.

    Will they ever be punished or is it going to have to be a mob armed with leaf blowers and weedwhackers?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 9 Jan 2019 @ 9:17am

    Having worked in IT for decades, we always called it "10G". But it's not a "platform"; it's just a network speed--your infrastructure either supports 10 gigabits per second... or it doesn't. It was never a marketing term.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 10:00am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Valkor, 9 Jan 2019 @ 11:17am

      Re:

      The moral of that story is "Don't cross the terminology streams". Cell phone advertising might explode.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 9:40am

    This looks like an ill-fated attempt to find the G-spot

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 9:56am

    I really hope their backbone network is a lot faster than 10G. But that might actually explain why lot of areas don't get their advertised speeds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 9 Jan 2019 @ 10:09am

    10G isn't actually a thing

    ...psst... Neither is 5G.

    ITU has provided some preliminary protocols for radio and fiber, but that's it.

    THERE IS NO 5G STANDARD

    It's all hype.

    The link is a house-organ puff piece, but it does show where ITU is at on developing a 5G standard.

    https://news.itu.int/5g-transport-new-clarity/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2019 @ 5:29pm

    We need faster connection so customers can hit their download caps faster, and start paying for excess data chargers earlier!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ryuugami, 9 Jan 2019 @ 8:41pm

    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 :D

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Boneman69 (profile), 10 Jan 2019 @ 5:02am

    Taking Lessons from AT&T

    It's sad when companies take lessons from AT&T's marketing department. This is just like the "New" 5Ge.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 5:20am

    10G

    I thought 10G was the price of the iPhone XI

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 7:24am

    Experienced fighter pilots can tell you what happens when you reach 10g. Your alertness diminishes, your vision goes dark, and eventually you lose consciousness. Perhaps that's what the telco's are aiming for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Magnus Bergqvist, 10 Jan 2019 @ 7:44am

    Pointy-haired bosses...

    I seem to remember an old Dilbert-cartoon way back, where they wanted to marked something as 8G back when 4G was still just a concept.

    https://dilbert.com/strip/2011-05-10

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jan 2019 @ 8:06am

    Forget AT&T. . . .

    . . . .skipping right to 10 is the hip new thing for tech products these days, both Microsoft and Apple got into the game. Everyone knows that!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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