Scientists break Internet speed record

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SEATTLE – The days of dial-up seem so far away.

Researchers announced on Tuesday they broke the Internet speed record when they transferred data at 186 gigabits per second between two cities. That’s the equivalent of moving two million Gbps or transferring 100,000 Blu-ray discs in one day.

The test in November involved sending data between the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia and the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, breaking their previous record of 119 Gbps set in 2009.

The recent accomplishment will help establish new ways to move increasingly large quantities of data around the world, the researchers said. The team was made up of physicists, computer scientists and network engineers from Caltech, University of Victoria, and the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) among other partners.

“Our group and its partners are showing how massive amounts of data will be handled and transported in the future,” physics professor Harvey Newman said in a statement released by Caltech. “Having these tools in our hands allows us to engage in realizable visions others do not have. We can see a clear path to a future others cannot yet imagine with any confidence.”

The record breaking speed could set a new standard of Internet speeds as fast as 100 Gpbs. In contrast, today’s current fiber optic networks have a top speed of 1 Gbps.

The experiment relied on highly tuned servers with the latest optical gear from Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network. Two-way rates of 186 Gpbs were achieved, with the fastest single-direction speed being 98 Gpbs.

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