Researchers set new Internet2 speed record

In what is billed as another step toward a higher-bandwidth Internet, a team of researchers has set a new data transmission speed record over the Abilene Network, the Internet2 backbone.

The researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena and Geneva-based CERN transferred data across nearly 11,000 kilometers at an average speed of 6.25G bits per second (bps), CERN said in a statement. The achieved speed is about 10,000 times faster than a typical home broadband connection, according to CERN.

The speed record was set in the ongoing Internet2 Land Speed Record competition and was announced Tuesday at the Spring 2004 Internet2 member meeting in Arlington, Virginia. Internet2 is a group of over 200 universities that work with the technology industry and government to develop the next generation Internet.

The Caltech and CERN team had previously set a mark of 4G bps over the same distance from Los Angeles to Geneva using next-generation IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) protocols. The 6.25G bps record was set using current IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) protocols, according to the statement.

The record-setting work is important for the development of grid networks used by scientists. Home users likely won't need this type of bandwidth any time soon

Studies have shown that high-energy physics, astrophysics, fusion energy, climatology, bioinformatics and other fields will need networks that can transfer data in the terabit per second range within the next 10 years, Harvey Newman, a professor of physics at Caltech, said in the statement.

A terabit is one trillion bits. The current record is 6.25G bps, or gigabits per second. A gigabit is 1 billion bits.

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