Codebreaker

German ISP achieves world-record bandwidth. But why will we need these super-speeds?

Jeff Horwich May 31, 2012
Codebreaker

German ISP achieves world-record bandwidth. But why will we need these super-speeds?

Jeff Horwich May 31, 2012

From the home of the Autobahn comes the report that an Internet service provider has moved data over its network at 4,700 Mbs. Woot.

The more intriguing question is not how fast bandwidth can get, but why we will need it. Sure, we’ll need big “backbone” pipes to handle the growing amounts of data (CISCO reported yesterday worldwide Internet traffic will quadruple in the next four years). But what are the applications that are going to someday make use of “superfast” download and upload speeds in our homes and offices? Yeah, yeah, high-speed stock trading — but is that the best we can come up with?

Verizon is also planning to double the top speed of its at-home internet service. Seems to be all that Hulu and Netflix’ing. You’ll be able to download a two-hour, standard-def movie in 40 seconds. Of course, Verizon’s current top plan costs $200 a month already. How much is that speed really worth to you?

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