Internet2 is faster…naturally
A speedy Internet connection is what everyone wants these days – after all, you get to download the latest movies and music (try not to get caught in the process if you’re doing it illegally) in the blink of an eye, and at the very least you don’t have to worry about having your online banking transaction experience a time out, leaving you with beads of sweat wondering whether that $10,000 wire has gone through or not. Roll up your sleeves and be prepared for a new dedicated 10Gbps optical link, as long as your office is a member of Internet2. This research network has already completed a major upgrade to its national infrastructure, operating at speeds of up to 100Gbps at this moment while allowing researchers to provision their own dedicated links for limited periods of time.
The main network has not changed as it remains IP-based while hooking up to more than 200 universities (not counting limited connections to various government and industry facilities who want in on the action as well). Each network segment boasts a set of 10 10Gbps links, individually running on a separate wavelength of light to give you a theoretical maximum of 100Gbps of bandwidth. Internet2 says that is not the end, but just the beginning since they are capable of scaling each segment to handle up to a hundred wavelengths in the future, which probably means delivering high definition movies over the Internet will take mere seconds.
Rick Summerhill, CTO for Internet2, mentioned “Just like you switch on a light or turn on a water tap, we envision a future where researchers, scientists, faculty, artists, etc. will be able to ‘turn on’ a high capacity network connection when and where they need it”. How do you see this affect the BitTorrent downloading habit of many people? Hopefully the technology will be affordable enough to many when it rolls out for the masses.