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Faster is better in the tech world, as anyone who watched the iPhone5 presentation may have guessed from the highly repetitive use of the words “fast” and “faster” to describe the latest version of the device. You also may be used to receiving pleas from your Internet company to upgrade to the new, faster service. These trends are reflective of consumers in general, who have been clamoring for both faster devices and faster access times to get the information and entertainment they’re seeking.
Speed Is All Relative
Just a few years ago, the United States was lagging behind in terms of speed in technology. Although things were getting faster each year, in late 2008, the United States was far behind much of Asia in deploying 3G networks and only 20 percent of homes had broadband Internet connections that could reach speeds of 100 megabits per second. However, the tide has been turning, and now connections are faster than ever. The U.S. has been developing a huge 4G LTE network and the percentage of homes with fast connections is up to 80 percent.
Future Projections on Speed
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Internet speed is only going to get faster, too. You may think that things will reach a point when they’re fast enough, but there may not be any such thing. Any perceivable lag will need to be eliminated before people would be fully satisfied. Global IP traffic is expected to increase by almost four times in the next few years. Much of this growth is expected to come through streaming video, along with people accessing the web with a multitude of devices.
What Does This Mean for Tech Companies?
Now that people are used to getting faster speeds on their home computers and mobile devices, lightning fast is the standard. People don’t want to wait at all for content to load. Now, everyone expects HD videos to start playing within a second, rather than waiting 5, 10 or an unthinkable 30 seconds for them to buffer. Tech companies need to be striving to bring people their content immediately, in less than a blink of an eye. Patience is severely lacking, and if people have to wait for content to load, they’ll do something else in the meantime. Whether they’ll come back to check on whether content ever ended up loading is a big question mark.
Businesses Need to Keep Up With Speed
Although much of what consumers see in the way of speed comes through their devices and connection types, businesses have to cover their end of the bargain as well. The speed of their hosting service affects what consumers see, and people really don’t have patience to wait for a video on a website to load when they know they can stream in HD right away from other places. Many businesses are already turning to cloud hosting to help reduce the strain on dedicated servers and their own resources and allow consumers to tap into high-speed loading and streaming. Speed is one of the requirements for staying competitive these days.
The need for speed isn’t going away, and consumers really don’t have patience with slow sites and long loading times. Businesses need to consider this as they design websites and make resources available to their customers. Having a quick experience, whether on a computer or mobile device, is one of the keys to keeping customers coming back. If there’s any noticeable lag, that’s too slow these days.