Much of, if not all, the attention fast broadband gets concerns users consuming data.
Yet every fibre connection on the UFB (Ultra-Fast Broadband) network is bi-directional. Data travels in both directions. And many fibre plans are symmetric: Data goes up the line as fast as it comes down.
You get a lot of benefit from having a connection and keeping your ‘down’ data line full. But you can get so much more from broadband if your ‘up’ line is busy too.
This is the case whether you are a commercial broadband user or a consumer at home.
If you use broadband at work, sending large amounts of data can be productive. In creative industries, the data you send up the line to the Internet may even be your business.
Scratch your creative itch
For home users, sending data, as well as consuming it, can be more fun. You may have a creative itch you want to scratch and it’s more satisfying if you share the result.
At the time of writing, UFB fibre plans range from a basic 30Mbps down, 10Mbps up, to Hyperfibre with 4Gbps in both directions.
It’s no accident that people who choose the fastest broadband get symmetric connections with a fast up-link. They often work in creative industries like video production or movie making, or online games creation.
These industries are growing, for instance, last year New Zealand’s interactive games developers earned over $200 million. That is double the amount they earned two years earlier. New Zealand’s games developers sell to customers around the world. Almost all the money comes from exports. Their busy up-stream data traffic is helping give New Zealand’s economy a boost.
Video needs fibre
Away from the creative industries, video is a great way to get customer attention. Apart from fast broadband, you need a decent video camera. There is one in almost every modern mobile phone. Throw in a little imagination and your company can get attention from anywhere in the world.
The same goes for individuals. It has never been easier to create your own data-rich content. If making YouTube videos doesn’t appeal, you can post music online or start a podcast. Tell the world about what interests you and connect with like-minded people.
One simple and rewarding way to make better use of your connection’s data uplink is to build your own website. There are easy-to-use tools like WordPress that make this a breeze. Run a blog, show your cat photos or hang out your shingle in cyberspace.
Whatever you choose to do, remember your fast data link has an up line as well as the down line that you can use to good effect.
This post was originally published in The Download, a Chorus magazine that I edit. There’s a lot more interesting material about fibre and telecommunications to read there. And, yes, it was written before lockdown, but the point applies even more today: a fibre line is a idea for scratching your creative itch.