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How to Make the Internet a Lot Faster

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Credit: Google Inc.

Google recently announced plans to build an experimental fiber network that would offer gigabit-per-second broadband speeds to up to 500,000 U.S. homes. The speeds proposed by Google are much faster than those offered by commercial U.S. Internet services providers, but some international systems have reached higher speeds. In addition, the Internet2 offers 10-gigabit connections to university researchers.

There are many factors beyond raw bandwidth that are involved with delivering very-high-speed connections, says Internet2's Gary Bachula. The Internet2 has been researching different technologies that could help find and resolve the performance issues that occur on high-speed connections. "If we're really going to realize the vision of some of these high-end applications, it does have to go beyond basic raw bandwidth," Bachula says.

California Institute of Technology professor Steven Low says that Internet protocols also need updating. He notes, for example, that the transmission control protocol does not work well at gigabit-per-second speeds.

From Technology Review
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