Will AI kill WiFi?You might think Ethernet is on its way out the door. After all, everyone just uses WiFi, right?

WRONG! For the past couple of years, my most popular video on YouTube has been:

No more WiFi: How to wire your house for Internet

Published in September of 2019, the video has garnered over 1.6 million views, and it’s still going strong.

Obviously, many people want Ethernet – contrary to popular belief. That’s good, because it’s only going to get better…

What happened to multi-gig Ethernet?

Back in October of 2016, I wrote an article: Faster ethernet coming without cable changes.

So-called “multi-gig” Ethernet allows you to use existing Cat 5E and Cat 6 cables to get 2.5 or even 5Gbps speeds. All you need is a multi-gig capable networking card / adapter, and multi-gig switches.

Despite the popularity of wiring one’s house with Ethernet, these multi-gig switches never caught on. Oh, they’re available, all right – but they still cost a fortune! Here some examples (affiliate links):

Given that a good 8-port unmanaged 1 Gbps Ethernet switch can be had for $20-30, those prices are NUTS. Unless you have a tiny house network, no one will pay $140 per switch.

This is particularly odd given that many laptops and PCs have come with built-in 2.5Gbps multi-gig Ethernet for years now. And everyone is wiring their house for Ethernet… But still, nobody is manufacturing low-cost multi-gig switches!

Even worse, just try to find a home router that has more than one (or even just one) multi-gig Ethernet port! They almost don’t exist.

Isn’t that odd given the current popularity of Ethernet? Yes, yes it is.

Enter UEC: the Ultra Ethernet Consortium

UEC is a series of working groups whose purpose is to take Ethernet, and improve it: the physical layer, the software layer, latency – the whole nine yards.

The specific purpose is to improve Ethernet so that it works well for ultra-high-bandwidth applications such as networking together roomfuls of AI (artificial intelligence) and HPC (high-performance computing) servers.

In other words, no, AI won’t be revolutionizing your life anytime soon if people don’t get their acts together. But we might end up with far superior Ethernet than what we have today.

No doubt at last some of that improved technology will trickle down to end consumers in one way or another.

But you said multi-gig was coming, and it never showed up…

Of course. That’s because Ethernet has been hamstrung by powerful waves of epic stupidity in the tech world. I mean, come on! When companies are spending billions on AI that cranks out images of black popes and black multi-gender Three Musketeers, clearly they’ve lost the plot.

And when I make a video about how to easily wire your house with Ethernet when you do not want to or cannot rip holes in the walls, it gets 1.6M views and continues to be popular 3.5 years later. And yet, 8 years after first mentioning multi-gig, said switches are STILL not affordable for the average person! Clearly, something is very wrong.

IOW, just as people are saying, “No, that’s NOT what I want AI for…”, they’re also saying, “No, I DO want Ethernet – for simple speed and stability, for better privacy and connection security, for health reasons, for lower latency for gaming.”

Hence my earlier statement: But we might end up with far superior Ethernet to what we have today.

That depends on what you and I do from here on out. I guarantee you that if everyone stopped buying WiFi routers, access points, and repeaters, and started buying more Ethernet hardware, the vendors would definitely take notice.

In fact, the only reason to use WiFi is “because it’s just so convenient to be wireless.” That’s because someone told you to think that. Do you REALLY need your smartphone on your person, turned on, and connected 24/7? No, you don’t. And when you do need it connected, there’s Ethernet for smartphones and tablets.

In the end, it’s up to you! As for me, I’ll stick to wires – and hopefully a bit more historical accuracy.

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