Last year, Google announced Fiber was making its way to another American city in Charlotte, North Carolina. Today, sign-ups for residents and businesses begin: anyone living in Highland Creek can put their name in for Fiber 1000 + TV, Fiber 1000, or Fiber 100 plans ($130, $70, and $50/mo, respectively), with a Fiber phone option for all plans. Meanwhile, eligible small businesses can benefit from one of three new business plans, each debuting in Charlotte.
Google says it will of course expand coverage to more neighbourhoods in the city, but it will take time.
The company is also working on bringing a budget 25mbps service for just $15/mo to financially challenged citizens in Charlotte, as well as gigabit internet free of charge to select public and affordable housing buildings. Google says this venture will "build on existing investments, like our support of digital inclusion fellows at the Urban League, Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library."
There's a huge change coming to Wi-Fi technology, with the industry body behind Wi-Fi meeting, and signing off on a new level of performance that's going to blow the walls off of your house. The only issue is it won't roll out instantly, as we'll need new smartphones, tablets, routers, and Wi-Fi adapters to be upgraded to this super-quick new standard.
The new standard is 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which has individual 5GHz channel speeds of up to 867MHz. The update known as 'Wave 2' is coming, pushing the Wave 1 speeds from 802.11 to new heights, including technologies like MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input multiple output) and wider channel bandwidth that will allow for faster than ever Wi-Fi transfers.
The Wave 2 update to 802.11ac Wi-Fi has maximum channel widths of up to 160MHz, which provides twice the potential throughput of the current 802.11ac devices on the market. Previous chips used up to three input/output streams, but the new standards can do four input/output streams.
Google has just made the internet infrastructure that connects the US with Asia magnitudes faster, with the FASTER Cable System now connected and online. The new FASTER Cable System is packed with the latest technology, and with its six-fiber pair cable it is able to deliver 60Tbps of bandwidth, with Google receiving 10Tbps of that bandwidth.
The super-quick FASTER Cable System was constructed by NEC and funded by a consortium of six companies that included Google and multiple Asian telecom giants. There's a huge 5590-mile trans-Pacific submarine cable that was designed from its inception to "support digital coherent transmission technology, using optimized fibers throughout the submarine portion. The combination of extremely low loss fiber, without a dispersion compensation section, and the latest digital signal processor, which compensates for the huge amount of cumulative dispersion at the end of the cable, enable this six-fiber pair cable to deliver 60 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth across the Pacific", according to the press release from NEC.
Some of the best technology was used to built the FASTER Cable System, with the "latest 100Gbps digital coherent optical transmission technology" being used, there would be some problems, right? According to NEC's Project Manager, Kenichi Yoneyama, there were issues - with Yoneyama saying there were "many challenges during the construction", but he said that the now-connected FASTER Cable System would "not only bring benefits to the United States and Japan, but to the entire Asia-Pacific region".
Bluetooth is everywhere... absolutely everywhere, but it's about to get a heck load faster. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) have announced the latest in Bluetooth technology, with Bluetooth 5.0 having twice the speed, 4x the range, and 800% more capacity.
The updated Bluetooth 5.0 standard won't hit until late 2016 or early 2017, but it does promise some huge leaps in bandwidth, speed and range. Bluetooth 5.0 will allow many more devices to have better communication indoors, outdoors, through walls, and more - taking in more connections, and having improved efficiency, with less wait times.
What does this mean for you? Well, Bluetooth 5.0 will allow you to connect to your devices more reliably, with them disconnecting less, and you'll be able to enjoy higher speeds, and a much higher range (4x).
While writing up a bunch of Computex 2016 coverage, I noticed a report over at Tech in Asia about 8K video being streamed over a 5G network. Now remember that the 8K resolution is a retina-busting 7680x4320... yeah, and it's being streamed over a damn 5G network, which doesn't really exist right now.
Japanese telco Docomo has said that it has started testing live streaming 8K video over a 5G network, without any problems at all. Docomo added that it's the first time that 8K video has ever been live streamed over a 5G network, which is quite the achievement.
Docomo teamed with Nokia on the 8K streaming over the 5G network, with the company saying a statement: "In the trial, 8K video of 48 Gbps - a bit rate four times greater than 4K video and 32 times [greater] than full HD - was compressed [...] and successfully transmitted without delay". 5G will usher in up to 10Gbps, but it all depends on countless factors between the telecommunications industry, governments, and the smartphone manufacturers. 5G could be here by 2020, completely bypassing the 40-50Mbps speeds that we get from 4G.
While we have to wait a few more years for super-fast 5G wireless networks, certain regions of Singapore will be receiving some huge speeds in the coming year or so.
Singapore wireless provider StarHub is teaming up with Chinese giant Huawei on a new project that will see small cell networks sprawled out through Singapore's central business district, blasting out what CNET is calling 4.5G. This new 4.5G internet will provide speeds of around 1Gbps... yeah, pretty damn good - eh?
The service will initially be offered in Singapore, and thanks to the small cell network technology, 1Gbps-class speeds will only be capable indoors, or in office buildings and shopping malls. None of today's smartphones will be capable of being used on the new network, with compatible devices to arrive closer to the network rolling out in Q2 2017 or so.
If you lack cooking skills but have $174, Pantelligent's smart frying pan is here to help you out. It utilizes the power of Bluetooth, an app, and a temperature sensor to tell you when to flip food or take it off the pan, as well as how to cook it.
With eggs for example, it tells you to stir them around in the pan instead of whisking them before dropping them in for fluffier eggs (the more you know).
Popular Mechanics didn't have any complaints about its results with eggs, but when it followed the instructions for cooking fish, it came out overcooked and dry. So, consider it a novel, sometimes useful but not perfect device.
Whatever connection you've got to the Internet, it won't compare to what researchers at the University of Illinois have been playing around with.
The researchers have set a new record for fiber optic transmission, achieving 57Gbps of error-free data transmission. The data was even sent at room temperature, meaning the scientists didn't have to cool anything down to reach those dizzying speeds.
Even when the tech got hot, reaching 185F (85C) the speeds only dropped to 50Gbps. Where will these speeds find their first home? Datacenters, aircraft and other places that require insane amounts of bandwidth in harsh conditions. We should expect it to arrive in our homes and ISPs in the future, too.
If you've been waiting forever to get access to Google's Project Fi service, we've got some great news for you--the line just got a whole lot shorter. In fact, the line no longer exists.
Starting today, Google is dropping the invitation-only requirement for its Project Fi cellular service. Now anyone in the United States that owns a Nexus 5X, 6, or 6P handset can sign up for Google's affordable mobile service, which starts at $30 per 1GB of data with unlimited calls and texting.
"We launched Project Fi as an invitation-only Early Access program to make sure we could deliver the best quality of service to our first customers. Today, we're excited to be exiting our invitation-only mode and opening up Project Fi so that people across the U.S. can now sign up for service without having to wait in-line for an invite. "
I'm sure that once you use a 1Gbps connection, you'll never want to go back - so if you live in San Francisco, you'll love hearing the news that Google Fiber is coming to San Francisco.
Google will be using its current fiber optic deployments, where it will hook apartments and condos, as well as residents in affordable housing projects - providing its 1Gbps connection for free. Google hasn't provided an ETA on Fiber in San Francisco, but the city continues to be one of the biggest attractors of tech talent, and this is only going to help that - and some.