A world without the Internet is inconceivable and against a background of relentless growth, it continues to change and evolve. Clement reports on Statista that as at April 2020 the worldwide digital population reached 4.57 billion active Internet users with China, India, and the United States ranking as the most active users (Clement, Statista).
As a fundamental pillar of the information society, the Internet has a global online penetration rate of 59 percent. Northern Europe ranks first with a 95 percent Internet penetration rate among their population (Clement, Statista).
With these noteworthy Internet access rates, more and more users are switching to broadband connections. While Internet access can take many forms – from shared dial-up access in an Internet café to ultra-fast fibre-to-the-home broadband connections – the advantage of broadband is providing always-on access with massively increasing amounts of bandwidth.
Corresponding with the growing Internet adoption is traffic per connection due to the adoption of relatively data-heavy Internet applications such as audio and video streaming and increased adoption of devices, such as smartphones. Thus, users are increasingly demanding more access due to more intense data usage.
What is Next-generation Access (NGA)?
Next-generation access (NGA) includes new or upgraded access networks that will allow substantial improvements in broadband speeds and quality of service. It involves several technologies including cable, fixed wireless and mobile, but is most often used to refer to networks using fibre optic technology.
NGA is thus a premium networking service providing higher bandwidth as compared to traditional access options. Next-generation Networks (NGNs) rely on fibre optic cables and wireless connectivity options along with copper wires to enhance bandwidth. The result is more sustainable download speed than traditional network service providers reaching 100mbps and above. NGNs is an upgrade to the core or ‘backbone’ part of the network. It refers to a converged network that can carry both voice and data over the same network enabling advanced services such as VoIP, multimedia applications and home management via the Internet of Things (IoT).
Drivers of NGA
The increased popularity of High Definition (HD) screens and projectors and high definition media content are key drivers of the next-generation access market. The online streaming of television and web series in high definition increases the need for higher bandwidth. This adoption of high definition screens has resulted in the demand for Fibre to the Home (FTTH) high speed Internet connectivity. FTTH providers provide fibre optic network till the end user, facilitating high bandwidth. It is often recommended for estates and sectional title complexes since it can transfer huge volumes of data at very fast speeds.