Have you heard of the Internet of Things (IoT)? It’s a term that’s thrown around more and more these days. However, it’s no longer just the Internet of ‘things,' in our world, it’s quickly becoming the Internet of ‘everything.’
Smart thermostats, wearable technology and smart cars are all IoT features that are here to stay, and there are many more to come. According to Business Insider, by 2025, there will be over 64 billion connected devices in use, up from about 10 billion in 2018.
However, those 64 billion devices are useless without the Internet to provide connectivity.
What does this connectivity mean? Let’s start with a definition. The IoT is a term used to describe a system in which physical objects (things) are connected to each other, and to humans, via the Internet. The main components of the IoT are:
Sensors collect data of all sorts. Sensors monitor things like temperature, structural building health, the presence of contaminants, and so much more.
Processors turn data into intelligence or instructions. Some processors are small chips embedded into devices, some are tablets, PCs or smart phones and others are cloud software services.
Actuator is just a fancy term for a device, or part of a device, that actually does something. In the case of a smart thermostat, the actuator is the mechanism that adjusts the heat based on the intelligence collected by the sensor.
Networks are the infrastructure that makes the IoT a reality. Some IoT systems work on a closed local network, while others require constant feedback from the cloud.
Fiber technology is the only infrastructure that can accommodate these advances. Soon we’ll ‘hit the cap’ on our cable Internet bandwidth. While fiber optic Internet is not truly unlimited, the bandwidth availability is significantly higher, and speed does not decrease as high demands are put on the network.
In addition to bandwidth available, symmetrical speeds are essential to accommodate new age technology. This means that Internet speeds do not vary based on upload and downloads. We’re uploading more and more data nowadays. In order to keep up with the high demands of data transport, fiber Internet may well be our only option.