|(Credit: Microsoft Clip Art Gallery)|
I mentioned that hubby received a ChromeCast for Christmas which is a really interesting device: If you haven't used a ChromeCast before, basically, you plug it into the HDMI port on your TV and it connects to your WIFI. You can navigate it directly on your TV or, as we prefer, you can call up media on your phone and share it to the ChromeCast for viewing. For example, I can use the Netflix app on my phone to start a show, then share it to the ChromeCast so it will play on the TV. Once the ChromeCast kicks in, it starts streaming the media via the WIFI connection, but using the instructions provided on the phone.
And that's when I had a thought: if mobile companies start providing unlimited or ginormous data plans (like my 6Gb Telus plan), then couldn't I theoretically use my mobile plan as my primary Internet connection at home for other devices, like the ChromeCast?
For example, I could tether the ChromeCast to my phone, thereby using my phone's data plan as the WIFI connection. Then flip the content to the ChromeCast while actually streaming it from the phone. So the content would be served over my mobile connection, instead of my home WIFI. And even more, I could use my phone as a hotspot for all of my Internet devices, including my tablet and my laptop. The one area where this might not be efficient is our gaming console.
It seems that tech companies have been working on ultra-fast Internet for some years now. Back in September 2013, the Canadian Space Agency launched a satellite named CASSIOPE with a payload containing the prototype for ultra-fast file transfers. Like 2,100 megabits per second fast. For upload and download. Compare that to my 0.96 Mps upload and 15 Mps download on my home connection; or my 1.84 Mbs upload and 9.6 Mps download on my mobile connection.
Sure, lightning-fast Internet isn't here yet, but some LTE infrastructures are claiming 1 gigabit per second connections. And that would be much better than what we're getting through the ground at this time. So, it's entirely possible that if mobile devices are going to outnumber humans by the end of 2014, then telecommunications companies are going to focus on mobile connectivity over the coming years.
With all the cheap data plans and the increasing network speeds, there is a good chance that consumers will look at the multitude of bills coming into their homes on a monthly basis and realize that they might be better off cutting the grounded Internet cord and running their home infrastructure from their mobile network connections. New open-source Internet-enabled boxes could emerge to help consumers feed off their phone-based hotspots to stream all-they-can-eat media, and only pay a single bill.
Sure, after a time, this could end up in shutting down all-you-can-eat plans or signal yet another reason for Internet non-neutrality as companies try to manage what you access and how you access it. But in the meantime, I think it's a plausible theory for the next stage of cord cutting.
What do you think? Can you imagine running your entire home network off a lightning-fast phone connection? Is it really that far-fetched an idea?