Sit Tight, Downloaders: More Bandwidth On The Way

Bell Labs/Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) researchers are working on new fibre optic technology that could make today’s broadband feel like dialup.

Researchers have figured out a way to transfer data at the speed of 2 terabytes per second over more than 1,500 miles. Networking firm Pingdom does the maths and puts that into practical speeds:

  • You could transfer a DVD in 2.3 milliseconds
  • You could transfer a Blu-ray disc in 24.4 milliseconds
  • You could transfer a 500-gigabyte hard drive in 244 mlliseconds — less than 1/4 of a second

Don’t expect these speeds at home anytime soon. But anything that can make Internet transmission faster and more efficient is good news for both content-hungry consumers and capex-wary service providers.

And anything that boosts network speed makes it harder for companies like Comcast (CMCSA) to argue that they’re tweaking customers’ downloads out of capacity/”network management” issues.

See Also: Why Cable (and Comcast) Are Such Crappy Businesses

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