Keeping Up with the FiOSes
Gigabit service is great, but the challenge comes when we sell our clients a $3,000-$5,000 network upgrade and the “commercial-grade, AV-centric” router that we are selling tops out at 900mpbs or 500mpbs (and some even at 300mbps).
ThinkStock FiOS Gigabit networking is just coming to NYC and FiOS is offering a heck of deal: $80 per month for internet, TV, and phone, with gigabit speeds. Their peak speeds are advertised at 940mbps down and 880mbps up. When using the provided FiOS gateway all-in-one modem/router/WAP, those speeds are achievable.
Gigabit service is great. We have been telling our clients for years that they should get the highest speeds possible, as having bandwidth will make everything in their home run better — from surfing the web to streaming movies on multiple screens.
The challenge comes when we sell our clients a $3,000-$5,000 network upgrade and the “commercial-grade, AV-centric” router that we are selling tops out at 900mpbs or 500mpbs (and some even at 300mbps). It is embarrassing to have the craptastic FiOS router that we have been telling the client is too weak, not reliable and unfit for their system pound out 940mbps every time, and we top out at 900 mbps with our $750 router.
We have also had some upset clients who purchased routers from us one or two years ago, and the router tops out at 300mbps. They are trying to take advantage of all the specials going on with the gigabit roll-out and are fairly upset that they will need to spend another $750 to upgrade their router, which will only get them almost caught up to today’s speeds, but offers no overhead for the future.
I feel like more and more we are behind the 8-ball when it comes to taking advantage of the technology available to the consumer. 4K video with HDCP2.2 and HDR content is nightmare to deal with, and we are just getting to the point where I feel the systems are stable enough. But 4K TVs have been mainstream for three years now. I realize HDMI is a challenging animal, and that manufacturers are working hard to get it right and not release subpar product (thank you!), but we really need to right tools in the market so we can be on-trend.
Admittedly, it was only a few years ago that 100mbps was blazing fast for residential clients. However, the landscape is changing fast, and we need our networking partners to step it up and get their true gigabit routers to market. Google Fiber was hitting gigabit speeds one to two years ago, so this has been a train coming down the tracks for some time. Shame on us as integrators for not pushing harder to ensure we were armed with product that can handle the bandwidth.
What are you all doing about gigabit networking? What hardware are you selling and installing that has the overhead for future bandwidth increases?