Internet2 Backbone Reaches 100Gbps

The Internet2 consortium has been pushing record data transfer speeds for the last 11 years. Yesterday it was announced to have raised its ceiling tenfold.

Unfortunately, the infrastructure will not be publicly available any time soon, but the speed is enough to make people wonder how they'd use such a resource. DVD-quality video streams with 5.1-channel audio would be just the tip of the iceberg. These speeds make even the most demanding consumer's tasks sound easy.

Consider one of the speculated first uses: to work with the $1.8 billion Large Hadron particle collider at an underground CERN (Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire/European Council for Nuclear Research) facility located 100 meters below Geneva. The collider is scheduled to begin experiments in May that will generate data on particle behavior.

Such experiments could use internet2's massive bandwidth to stream data to laboratories. It has been forecasted that the machine would require at least a constant 1.8Gbps to stream effectively.

"It's now possible for a single computer to have a 10 gigabit connection and we needed to have a way of making sure that those kinds of demanding applications could be served at the same time as all the normal uses," said Doug Van Houweling, Internet2's chief executive.

Houweling goes on to say that the connection to the 100Gbps backbone will be established by two 10Gbps connections that "team up" to accommodate especially demanding tasks.

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