Have you ever stopped to tally up how many things are connected to the internet at home? You may only think you have one or two, but chances are that you actually have many more.
If you ever find your internet is feeling sluggish, it may well be because all those devices are competing for a share of your home internet connection.
According to global networking giant Cisco, there will be 50 billion devices on the internet by 2020.
While this sounds like a vast number, Cisco estimates there are already more than 12.5 billion devices connected to the internet – nearly twice the number of people in the world!
The majority of people I know use a smart phone and at least one computer at home plus a range of other devices (tablets, game consoles, GPS devices, and so on.) People are increasingly getting their TV shows via the internet through streaming TV boxes, and more gadgets than ever are getting direct internet connections – even compact cameras!
It’s a problem!
Visitors of all ages to the NBN Co Discovery Truck tell us how limiting it is that their home internet is not fast enough for all these different gadgets and apps at once.
For example, the Kukainis family who visited the truck in Mansfield -- dad Roland and three young boys in tow -- told me how the boys love using the internet for games, but in popular games like Call of Duty 3, even a slight delay in the internet connection can literally mean life or death for their game character.
In the same home, their father Roland is reliant on the internet to run three businesses. He reeled off a list of devices needed to successfully do this, and how he has trouble keeping them performing at speed while the family is downloading videos and playing multiplayer games.
Noel Willaton and Marian Dowling, who live on their farm in Bookoolite, Victoria, also vented their frustrations with their current connection.
Marian sits on the board of the Mansfield District Community Bank and laments how a slow internet connection to her home can hinder her work with this $80 million business.
Noel is similarly frustrated, having researched into using devices attached to their cattle to track them on their property. He’s been frustrated by the slow speed of their home internet, which makes this impossible.
Last but not least, Mansfield had some of the most net-savvy retirees I have come across so far. They preferred not to be named, but “J” currently downloads patterns for her sewing onto her husband’s computer, transfers them onto an old-school floppy disk and uploads them onto her sewing machine.
Her touch-screen sewing machine then copies the patterns straight onto her material! She has been selling her wares at the local market and reckons she could get through sewing a lot more quickly if her machine connected straight into the internet rather than having to use 1980s technology as an intermediate step.
The week in Mansfield and Benalla made me acutely aware of how many devices we are all using that connect to the internet.
The days where one family member could yell at another to get off the computer so they can use the phone are long gone!
We all now all have our own devices, and they’re all fighting for their share of the home internet connection.
So, how many gadgets do you have connected?
To come back to the stats at the beginning of this post, Cisco reports that there are approximately two billion people on the internet today. If we divide that early figure of 12.5 billion devices by two billion, works out to 6.25 connected devices per person!
I’m way behind the 8-ball with only three internet connected devices... how many do you have in your home?
When we talk about speeds delivered over the National Broadband Network, we are referring to the wholesale speed to telephone and internet service providers. The speed you can achieve, and services you can use, on your individual connection will depend on many factors including the services you subscribe to, the software and communication protocols you use, quality of your equipment and connection to your home/business, the broadband plans offered by your telephone or internet provider and how it designs its network to cater for multiple users.