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ORLANDO, August 21, 2023 – Fiber providers and suppliers told Fiber Connect attendees in a panel on Monday that speed is not as important as latency for fiber networks. 

There will never be an end to the need for more bandwidth for improved latency, said Chief Marketing Officer of optical and cloud-controlled software DZS Gunter Reiss. Reiss pointed to the emerging virtual reality market and electronic gaming market as examples of an increased demand for latency, referring to time it takes for data to travel between the sender and receiver. 

Applications drive the demand for bandwidth for speed and latency, said Reiss, claiming that latency is essential for future applications. Providers should be focused on the customer experience by being aware of all the devices that customers have and the latency that exists on those devices, he concluded. 

The average American household has over 20 devices connected to the internet in the home, added Matt Collins, chief commercial officer at cloud and software platform provider Calix. The large number of devices on a network hikes up demand for better latency, he said. 

Fiber networks that are being built need to have the capacity to support whatever future applications will drive its adoption, said Jeff Manning, vice president of product and network strategy for Shenandoah Telecommunications Company. 

“From the provider perspective, the conversation about speed is not as important as it was in the past,” said Manning. Providers should focus on improving the experience that the customer is having with the bandwidth that they are provided, he said. “Understanding how people are using that speed is the critical point.”  

Valerie Buckingham, chief marketing officer of software-as-a-service company Plume Design, added that it is important that providers frame connectivity in terms of speed as a way to meet consumers where they are. People don’t understand what latency is, she said, urging providers to remember that consumer experience is the most important aspect of the business.  

Experts have raised similar opinions, claiming that network attributes like reliability, in-home Wi-Fi, resiliency, security and latency will play an increasingly important role in consumer demand in the future.  



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