Rohan Small has a futuristic house which enables himself and his family to work and consume digital media swiftly and with ease.
“In building a house, we wanted to be comfortable with living in the space and realised that connectivity was an important feature,” he said.
“We all want to be connected to the world, so one of the first things we thought about was wiring the house for the future. Everything is done via the Internet these days and speed was also important for us.”
Mr. Small, an accountant with Ernst & Young, brought in consultants to discuss the house three years ago and fibreoptics was fully on their minds, even though at the time Cayman had not fully come on board with the technology.
“We pulled through a distribution network of wires of which fibre was one,” Mr. Small said. “Most of our sources and wiring throughout the house come from the attic space. Fibre, Category 5 [Ethernet and telecommunications] and Coaxial cable [for TV signals] enable us to stay connected.
“Even though plug in is one of the things we want to do, we also wanted to maximise the way we could walk around wirelessly around the house and stay connected.”
As longstanding customers of LIME, he continued, that was the company with whom they wanted to work on the house, which is located in Crystal Harbour. Indeed, the house was the first connected by optical fibre on a pilot basis.
“It has made a big difference in our way of living here; downloading or connecting to movies and music on the Internet,” Mr. Small said. “It was a day to download a movie and the world has become smaller.
“The kids are still in school and I am working full time, so it is important to be connected when I am at home to connect to the office. Being able to access my work network is perfect. We work in an environment where chargable hours count, so sending and receiving as quickly as possible helps us stay productive,” he said.
Prior to the move, the download speeds were around 12 to 15 megabits per second and now the speed is up to 100 megabits, he said.
It’s possible to control everything from temperature, monitoring and television from his smart phone, he added.
So, is this the future for new build houses? “I would say, ‘absolutely yes’,” he said. “We are all about conveniences here on the island; a grocery store not far away; telephone companies providing web services. Everyone is trying to think green and live as green and efficient as we can so why not think about what technology can provide?
“As people think about what comes to the home – telephone, TV, Internet – monitoring the house inside and out, smart phones taking off. Connectivity is in the palm of your hand so why not tie it into the smart house, too?”
One of the barriers to do so is cost, he said, but the nature of the world is that technology demand reduces that factor.
“Competition is also good between telephone companies,” Mr. Small said. “This is a case where the customer certainly should win, as costs are driven down for the consumer.”