There’s no denying that in today’s world, data is king, and the Internet
is his queen. (Or perhaps vice versa.) In the U.S., there’s been much talk about gigabit
(1Gbps) Internet speeds for the masses thanks in large part to the efforts of Google and its Google Fiber
projects, but the EU
--where average Internet speeds are around 19.7Mbps--has its sights set on a much higher goal.
The EU and Japan are collaborating on six research projects, that, among other goals, would ostensibly result in the build out of 100Gbps networks. Other challenges the projects will address include cyber security, network capacity, storage, high-density data traffic, and energy efficiency.
In a press release, the EU listed the following research projects, which have been funded:
STRAUSS aims to enable fibre optic networks at more than 100Gbps.
MiWEBA will handle capacity by making better use of existing radio frequencies in order to boost ultra-high speed and mobile connections.
NECOMA will explore new ways to enhance personal data security in sensitive environments such as medical history records by developing new metrics to evaluate threats and potential impact of cyber attacks.
GreenICN will try to ensure an efficient use of energy in information networks. It will test network reliability in post-disaster situations (earthquakes, hurricanes) when energy resources are scarce and network performance is vital.
ClouT will try to allow real-time control of sensors enabling smart city operations such as energy use, traffic flow or emergencies. To achieve this target, the project will integrate Cloud Computing and Internet of Things features.
FELIX will set up joint EU-Japan experimental platforms that will help universities and research centres test new network technologies. Such new platforms will improve researchers' use of their experimental facilities.
STRAUSS' project (Credit: Ict-strauss.eu)
There’s a total of 18 million euros earmarked for the research (which sounds like an awfully small amount of money considering the scope of the projects). The European Commission, Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, and the National Institute of ICT are working together on this endeavor along with universities, research and development groups, and commercial entities in the market such as Orange and Panasonic.