Johnny McClanahan, President/CEO

Johnny McClanahan, President/CEO

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top and count with me for a moment. How many internet-connected devices do you have in your home?

For many of us, smartphones and computers are the first obvious devices that come to mind, but what other devices are there? How about tablets? Any smart TVs or streaming boxes like Roku or Amazon Fire TV? If you have children at home, what about their game systems, computers and other devices? Maybe you’ve gotten into the smart home technology and have some of the bulbs, security cameras or outlets.

When you think about all of the things we use regularly that depend on the internet, the answer to my questions can add up quickly.  

In fact, depending on which source you use, most North American households have between five and 10 connected devices. Some experts believe that number will grow to as many as 50 devices in less than five years!

Whatever your number of connected devices happens to be, know this: There is no better network to handle a family using multiple connected devices than the type of fiber optic network NCTC is building for our members.

We have invested millions of dollars in our region to build a world-class fiber optic network. While there are many benefits to a fiber connection — including reliability and increased home value — I’d like to discuss the capacity your fiber connection will afford your family.

While we often talk about an internet connection’s speed, we really mean the speed at which things download. The bits and bytes are moving at the same speed no matter your connection, but it’s the capacity (how many bits and bytes can pass through each second) that matters.

I often tell people to think of internet service like plumbing. Each file you are trying to download is like a bathtub filling up. The bits of data that make up the file flow through your modem and router just like water into a tub. Filling a tub from the spout is much faster than filling it with a sink sprayer because the spout has more capacity to let more water through. Similarly, a smaller connection is going to limit the amount of data that can pass through when compared to a bigger connection.

To follow that analogy, it’s also important to consider how many faucets you’re going to be using at the same time. If you open all of your faucets, the water pressure is going to dip

significantly, and it’s going to take a lot longer to fill each tub or sink. For broadband, the same thing happens with multiple devices on a network. If you have three tablets, a game system, two computers, four phones and a streaming TV using your connection, each one is going to be slower — unless you have a high-capacity connection via fiber optics.

As we continue to improve our network, we’re looking down the road at the future. We see families in our area continuing to add the latest technology in their homes, which drives up the demand for broadband capacity.  the fiber network were building is the only way we can be sure we have the capacity to serve you today and in the future.  

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