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Internet speed record smashed

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posted on Mar, 7 2003 @ 10:45 AM
Offering a glimpse of a faster digital future, researchers announced they have set a new Internet speed record.

Scientists at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center used fiber-optic cables to transfer 6.7 gigabytes of data -- the equivalent of two DVD movies -- across 6,800 miles in less than a minute. The center is a national laboratory operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The team was able to transfer uncompressed data at 923 megabits per second for 58 seconds from Sunnyvale, California, to Amsterdam, Netherlands. That's about 3,500 times faster than a typical Internet broadband connection.

"By exploring the edges of Internet technologies' performance envelope, we are improving our ... ability to implement new networking technologies," said Les Cottrell, assistant director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

The experiment could "bring high-speed data transfer to practical everyday applications, such as doctors at multiple sites sharing and discussing a patient's heart test results to diagnose and plan treatment," he added.

On average, the amount of information that can be transferred over the Internet has doubled every year since 1984, scientists said. That trend is expected to continue.

The data was sent via fiber-optic cables from Sunnyvale, California, to Chicago, Illinois. From Chicago, the data was relayed to Geneva, Switzerland, and from there on to Amsterdam, Netherlands. The information traveled the 6,800 miles in less than a minute.

Already, Cottrell said he and other scientists have conducted further experiments that break their own record. But those tests have not been certified by Internet2, a consortium of 200 universities researching the future of the Internet, and they must wait for further confirmation before an announcement, he said.

Initially, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center employees expect to use the faster data transfer speeds to share massive amounts of research collected by physicists studying the fundamental building blocks of matter. But in the long term, Internet users and businesses could benefit from the findings.

"Imagine ... being able to download two full-length, two-hour movies within a minute," Cottrell said. "That changes the whole idea of how media is distributed."

Getting there won't be easy, said Harvey Newman, a physics professor at the California Institute of Technology who participated in the center's research.

You have this inversion where the limitations on advances will not be the speed of the Internet but rather the speed of your computer. -- Harvey Newman, California Institute of Technology

Scientists were able to get 93 percent efficiency out of their record-setting connection because they didn't have to share bandwidth, they received donated equipment in excess of $1 million and they changed the setting of Internet protocols to allow faster data transfers, Newman said.

Even if they could transfer vast amounts of data tomorrow at reasonable prices, Newman noted that present-day computers are unable to handle such loads.

"You have this inversion where the limitations on advances will not be the speed of the Internet but rather the speed of your computer," he said.

Scientists said the finding announced Thursday hopefully will help researchers develop a clearer plan for faster online technologies.

"We don't have a vision of the future of the Internet yet," Newman said. "It's a whole new world for which you can see the first few ideas, but we don't really know what it will be about."

Link -

posted on Mar, 7 2003 @ 10:51 AM
That's amazing. I work in telecommunications and a few years ago we would do some work with fiber optics here and there and now that's all that anybody wants. It's really amazing that info can travel the speed of light. Now they need to develop a computer that can handle this speed.

posted on Mar, 7 2003 @ 11:42 AM
it really is amazing, unfortunately, it's very costly and like the article says there's really no hardware that can support it on a commercial, or private level. Here's a link that chars out the different speeds.

if you have the money, you can have an oc12 line ran into your house/neighborhood. It's mostly what the current net backbone runs on.

[Edited on 7-3-2003 by Grommer]

posted on Mar, 7 2003 @ 11:43 AM
Dammmmmmmmmm now thats some serious bandwith!!

posted on Mar, 7 2003 @ 12:26 PM
True...but the article also mentions that they didn't have to *share any bandwidth* during the test-run. Basically that means, if you're still limited to linking in with a host server & your computer can handle the load, you'd still not get the same overall transfer speed that *they got* during the test.

However, that *would* make a big difference on how *much* bandwidth can be shared on the host server...If a single user could download large files so quickly, that allows more time for other users on the multiplexer/switching station.

posted on Mar, 7 2003 @ 07:57 PM

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