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Gigabit Healthcare Network Speeds Support HIT Infrastructure

As healthcare networks support more devices, wider bandwidths and gigabit connection speeds need to be considered for successful implementation.

gigabit healthcare network speeds

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Comcast announced the expansion of its DOCSIS 3.1-based internet service to the North Eastern and Mid-Atlantic US, bringing gigabit internet speeds to healthcare networks along with other enterprise grade verticals.

The new Business Internet 1 Gig and Business Internet 500 are now available in most major cities across the North East and Mid-Atlantic using the existing network.

The upgraded speeds were developed and deployed in response to the demand for better connectivity when using the cloud. DOCSIS 3.1 allows small organizations, as well as large entities with multiple locations, to regularly achieve gigabit speeds so they can retrieve their data faster.

“Our gig-speed network allows businesses to quickly and easily scale network capacity at their locations to suit their individual needs and to support new technology applications on-site or in the cloud," Comcast Business Product Management Senior Vice President Kevin O’Toole said in a statement.

Comcast is deploying gigabit speeds more widely across its service areas using Business Internet 1 Gig and Business Internet 500. The service tiers complement existing gigabit and multi-gigabit options currently available to Comcast Business customers, including Comcast Business Ethernet.

Comcast also announced plans to launch Business Internet 1 Gig and Business Internet 500 throughout the majority of its service area through 2018.

Wireless gigabit or WiGig is expanding in the healthcare space as clinicians are introduced to new cloud-based-tools requiring fast and reliable connections. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are also being introduced onto healthcare networks. The increase of connected devices along with the rise of cloud-based infrastructure tools make fast connectivity speeds a priority for healthcare organizations.

The healthcare organizations are also challenged by large data migration projects that need wider bandwidths to ensure the migration does not conflict with everyday workflow.

WiGig supports telemedicine as well by supporting high quality video streams and data heavy file sharing.

Gartner states that WiGig developers intend to make its wireless standard the technology that will be used for a wide range of devices for actions requiring large amounts of data, such as large file transfers and video streaming.

WiGig goes beyond standard dual-band 802.11ac technology by enabling the use of a third 60GHz band. The WiGig band allows extremely high frequency transmissions by directing data into a wider channel. When too many transmissions are fighting to go through from constantly connected devices, users experience disrupted connections, which slows down their retrieval of information.  

Moving high-traffic transmission to the 60GHz band leaves the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands for mobile devices and other connected devices. This lets organizations continue to add devices to the network without worrying about straining the network.

A Grandview Research report published late last year stated that the growing demand for faster network speeds and improved connectivity would cause the WiGig market to rise significantly.

“The growing demand for gigabit IP data is driving the adoption of wireless broadband access,” Grandview Research found. “Moreover, in high data density regions, gigabit IP data connectivity is essential for LTE deployments and metro Wi-Fi. The 60 GHz band is suitable for such applications owing to the distinctive propagation characteristics of the band and the large bandwidth obtainable that allow high spectrum reuse, which is crucial for the next-generation wireless network architectures.”

“Businesses are increasingly deploying resources to the cloud, whether a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment,” the researchers continued. “Maximizing the effectiveness of cloud computing depends on the sufficient broadband speed and reliability that is also cost-effective. Such factors are increasingly contributing toward the rapid industry growth.”

Healthcare organizations are increasingly using wireless networks for mission critical applications that completely depend on the quality and speed of the network. Healthcare organizations need to ensure that the network can handle new devices before adding them.

Implementing a network with a wider bandwidth will give organizations room to grow their ecosystem of networked devices.

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