Will the Internet
ever truly be "fast enough?" Doubtful. In an effort to keep the bytes flowing at a breakneck rate, six of the world's leading research and education (R&E) networks and two commercial partners today demonstrated for the first time a Transatlantic 100 gigabits-per-second (Gbps or one billion bits per second) transmission link for research and education between North America and Europe. You read that correctly -- 100Gbps.
The 100 Gbps link, called the Advanced North Atlantic 100G Pilot project (ANA-100G) will be used for engineering and testing the new transmission link, applications, resources, monitoring techniques and advanced technologies such as software-defined networking. The testing will be between as many as four open exchange points, including MAN LAN in New York City and NetherLight in Amsterdam for at least 12 months following the conference. These efforts will determine the operational requirements needed to effectively run 100 Gbps wavelengths between North America and Europe to meet the growing demand of specialized research organizations.
"This achievement shows that research and education networks are at the forefront of innovation, thereby empowering the most advanced research by universities and research institutions worldwide," said Erwin Bleumink, chief executive officer of SURFnet – the local organizer of TNC2013. "The impact of this development however will also be seen outside academia and help stimulate the global economy."
While the new cable will be useful only for research at the moment, the writing is on the wall: it won't be long before consumers at large will be able to take advantage. And that's something we can all smile about.