March 21, 2017 by Juan Vela

When did physics become such a big problem for broadband?

For the past 21 years, I’ve been studying, testing, designing, or advocating broadband networks and I thought I was finally getting a good grasp for how they worked. But I was challenged recently with a concept that required me to think about something I haven’t considered since college. Physics.

Depending on the source, there are as many as 3 million data centers in the U.S. alone. What I found truly interesting is that 72 percent of all worldwide data center construction will be concentrated in 10 facilities.

Why does this matter? To realize the visibility, analytics and traffic controls found in data centers, subscribers would literally need to be physically connected to one of the relatively small number of ‘core’ data centers. This, of course, is impossible due to practical and economic reasons. The result of this physics limitation is basic and non-instrumented broadband pipes. However, without the proper instrumentation and intelligence, it’s impossible to either view or control the subscriber experience as expected in an IoT, always connected world. Who knew physics would become such a big problem for broadband?

We think we’ve figured out how to solve the physics challenge through Intelligent Access. To learn more about how we’re overcoming the broadband physics challenge, I invite you to attend one of the 2017 Innovative Ideas Workshops around the country to join in the dialogue. The Workshops kick off Tuesday, March 21 in Des Moines, IA and we look forward to seeing you at one of our stops.