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Cerf: Streaming Network Crunch Could Be Eliminated

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ACM president and Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf.

ACM president and Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf.

Credit: Joi Ito

Google technology evangelist Vint Cerf recently suggested that increasing bandwidth capacity exponentially could lead to more efficient ways of streaming media services on the Internet. He says that with sufficient throughput, the entire file of a movie or TV show could be downloaded in a fraction of the time it takes to stream the content, making streaming unnecessary.

"So rather than [receiving] the bits out in a synchronous way, instead you could download the hour's worth of video in 15 seconds and watch it at your leisure," he says. "It actually puts less stress on the network to have the higher speed of operation."

Cerf also discussed Google's plan to equip Kansas City with fiber-optic connections that will be 100 times faster than currently available commercial broadband services.

In addition, Cerf discussed Google's stance on network neutrality and the Interplanetary Internet. An Internet Engineering Task Force working group is developing protocols for extending Internet capabilities to spacecraft. "We are hoping now that the protocols will be adopted by all the space-faring nations, so that all of our spacecraft will be able to communicate with each another in a standard way," Cerf says. He says Google's position on network neutrality is ensuring that access to broadband in any form is equally accessible to everyone and that broadband channels are not used in an anti-competitive way.

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