[ Austin Distel / Unsplash]

How Fast is “High-Speed” When it Comes to Internet?

11:00 May 27, 2020
By: Sofia Gomez Alonso

Global increase in internet traffic calls for faster commercial internet speed

Since the world's governments have implemented stay-at-home and lockdown measures as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant increase of internet traffic, which has strained global internet infrastructures.

According to The Independent, European governments began to implement measures this past March in order to cope with increased internet traffic, forcing streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube to reduce viewing quality. As more people are encouraged to stay at home in order to contain the spread of the virus, there is a demand for an improvement in bandwidth and internet speeds.

Recently, research in Australia, compiling the efforts of teams in Monash, Swinburne, and RMIT Universities, recorded the fastest internet speed known to man at 44.2 terabits per second. This newly achieved speed allows for the download of 1000 HD movies in under a second. The researchers achieved this new technology by developing a "micro-comb" chip that transferred data across the communications infrastructure of Melbourne.

In an interview with The Independent, Bill Corcoran from Monash University stated that there is a global race towards the commercialization of technological devices like this that would make ultra-fast internet speeds available to the public. Corcoran also stated that it would take another five years before this technology is available for commercialization.

The micro-comb chip innovation would allow governments and internet streaming corporations to navigate and come up with solutions to tackle the negative effects of the rising global demand for the internet.

Currently, Singapore holds the fastest internet speed available to the public around the globe, at 197.3 megabits per second (Mbps). As a basis of comparison, TechRepublic.com reports that the average U.S. internet speed clocks in at just 50 Mbps. However, internet users in Bayside, New York—with the fastest internet in the country—can happily download data at as much as 100 Mbps. On the other hand, Ville Platte, Louisiana, ranked number 5 for slowest speeds in the country, at an average of only 8 Mbps.

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