Faster Internet service could be coming to your city in the near future
Forget about data caps, service fees, and other buzz kills of the broadband era. In regards to the high-speed infrastructure that can deliver blistering fast downloads, AT&T on Monday announced a major initiative to expand its fiber network to up to 100 candidate cities and municipalities nationwide, including 21 new major metropolitan areas. This fiber network is the tunnel through which AT&T's U-verse with GigaPower service travels through.
Google has announced plans to investigate the possibility of expanding its Google Fiber service to nine metro areas in the United States. Having set up its network system in Kansas City (KS), Austin (TX), and Provo (UT), Google is looking to branch out and discover how feasible it will be to bring its service to other areas.
As is well known, South Korea has been continuously voted the most popular destination among North Korean defectors ever since the Korean peninsular was cut into twain in 1948. The South Korean government now appears even more determined to retain the top spot in the hearts of North's emigrants, even if it takes a ridiculously fast 1Gbps internet connection to lure them to the country.
“I think in the future we will really see a data deluge - data will explode over the network. And you cannot handle that data traffic only through the mobile internet. Although there will be LTE, still you won't be able to handle all that traffic,” Lee Suk-Chae, chairman of Korea Telecom, told the BBC.
“Fixed line is essential to support that traffic and in that sense, I think people want to watch the content they want anywhere, anytime, and to satisfy their demands you need to have a strong network, maybe a gigabit internet.”
So how does this make you feel, Rest of the World?
Enabling jumbo frames can significantly increase your network’s throughput while consuming fewer CPU cycles (we’ll explain why in a moment). But before you configure your PCs to use jumbo frames, you should know that their value lies primarily in speeding up large file transfers within your network (versus to and from the Internet).
You should also be aware that enabling jumbo frames might cause problems with latency sensitive network applications, such as VoIP and online games. Lastly, jumbo frames are available only on gigabit networks, and every device in the path of the file transfer—all your switches (starting with the one in the router), your PC, server, and/or NAS—must all be equipped with gigabit Ethernet interfaces. What’s more, each of those devices must be capable of passing the same size jumbo frames. Okay, here’s another twist: There is no such thing as a standard-size jumbo frame.
Confused? Click the "Read More" button for an Ethernet primer.
In a Verizon statement today, the company announced that a recent field test of their fiber optic network showed near gigabit speeds. The test was carried out in Taunton, Mass with the help of a business customer. The customer saw speeds of 925Mbps when connected to the local Verizon office. Drop off was not as bad as you might expect. Speeds as high as 800Mbps were recorded with test servers over 400 miles away.
This is Verizon has been able to demonstrate these speeds in a real-life scenario. Google attracted a lot of attention when they started searching for a community to hook up with experimental 1Gbps broadband service. Verizon's accomplishment is different because it uses an existing network, with new gigabit passive optical network (GPON) switches.
Verizon's current FiOS service is offered at 50Mbps, and no word is available on if faster speeds will be rolled out in the wake of this test. Some feel the Taunton test was done mainly to demonstrate that the fiber network could handle future uses like 3DTV. How fast is your home internet service? Are FiOS-level speeds even available to you?
The deadline has passed for municipalities to apply for the opportunity to get access to Google’s 1Gbps fiber internet. Google said in a blog post, that they have received over 600 responses from around the country. The process of narrowing down the applicants will take several months at least.
Google’s announcement that only five cities would be getting this next generation fiber network sent a number of city councils and mayors into panic mode. Publicity stunts became common place in small towns and cities in the ensuing weeks. The mayor or Duluth, MN jumped into the frozen Lake Superior, and the mayor of Sarasota, FL took a swim in a shark tank.
The program is only open to municipalities with populations between 50,000 and 500,000. Google plans to make site visits as they narrow the list. If people are willing to risk hypothermia and shark bites when Google isn’t in town, we shudder to think what they’ll do when the Big G comes to visit.
Edit: At the end of the day, Google upped the original estimate of 600 to over 1100.
Oh, Cisco. What a tease you are! The company's been pumping up the general Internet crowd for a game-changing announcement, one that would--and I quote--"forever change the Internet." I was honestly hoping that said unveiled device would be like, a super-crazy consumer router that would... well. I'm not really sure what it would do. Gigabit speeds are more than sufficient for anyone's home networking needs right now (when I'm looking for this column on a terabit connection in five years, I'll have a hearty laugh.) And it's not like we have a new wireless draft on the way any time soon.
It would have been nice and revolutionary for Cisco to embrace--you guessed it--a more open-source platform for its hardware devices. One, it's what I write about and, two, we're kind of in a hardware lull, don't you think? When it comes to consumer routing and switching devices, there's only so much one can do. Aside from adding on new antennas, shifting antennas around in new ways, or adding more ports to the back of a device, what's really propelling router technology forward nowadays?
Network hardware vendor TRENDnet on Wednesday announced the launch of its 450Mbps Wireless N Gigabite Router, model TEW-691GR.
TRENDnet says its new router is designed for "extreme performance and unparralled quality of service." It comes with three external antennas broadcasting on the 2.4GHz spectrum, with three spatial streams per antenna.
"The 450Mbps TEW-691GR offers unsurpassed wireless throughput and coverage," stated Zak Wood, Director of Global Marketing for TRENDnet. "If you are looking for the ultimate in wireless performance, look for TRENDnet’s 450Mbps Wireless N Gigabit Router."
In addition to the staggering 450Mbps theoretical throughput, the TEW-691GR also boasts Multiple Input Multple Output (MIMO) technology to boost wireless coverage, signal strength, and throughput speed, TRENDnet says.
TRENDnet says its new router will start shipping in May for $160.
Commercial wireless systems, which top out at hundreds of megabits per second, still have a ways to go before being on the level of optical fiber, which boasts tens of gigabits per second. Looking to close that gap, engineers at Battelle, a research and development firm based in Columbus, OH, have found a way to send data through the air using millimeter-wave technology.
Achieving faster speeds by harnessing the millimeter-wavelength frequency of the wireless spectrum isn't new, but it is both expensive and complex due to the equipment involved to generate the signal. Or at least it used to be. The Battelle team has taken off-the-shelf telecommunication components and, by modulating data on two low-frequency laser beams, has been able to create a pattern of interference that acts as a 100GHz signal (millimeter-wave technology operates on frequencies between 60GHz and 100GHz). By doing so, the team demonstrated a 20 gigabit-per-second signal in its lab.
While the research looks promising, a shipping product could still be years away. Putting the system together using existing components has helped to break through the cost barrier, but the new challenge will be to create a smaller device that's less unwieldy.
If you’ve already installed a Wi-Fi router, you don’t need the vendor’s installation software to help you through the process. So we weren’t surprised that Trendnet didn’t develop anything for its TEW-633GR 802.11n Draft 2.0 product, relying instead on Pure Networks’ Network Magic.