UK May Have Hit Broadband Targets

When it comes to the internet the coalition government made a pledge that by 2015, they would have the “best superfast broadband in Europe”. The UK may have hit broadband targets, but still fears remain over the future and if the targets are good enough.

The problem with setting targets with technology, they look great but they have to change as technology does. The original target for 90% of properties having superfast broadband by 2015 was changed in light of the difficulty and processes involved, eventually changing to 95% of properties by 2017. We may have hit the 90% marker now, but that last 5% needed to meet the goal posts next year may come at difficulty.

The difficulty comes from the properties located in rural areas, with fibre optic speeds slowly reaching those areas (although not as the speeds users want to gain access to the internet). The second problem though is the big one, what is super fast internet these days?

Back in 2010, the definition was 24 Mbps, but these days you can grab 100 or even 200 Mbps internet. With the kind of fibre optic cables needed to reach 24 Mbps used in its current roll out the question is being raised that if we compare ourselves on “superfast broadband” in a few years time, will we need to roll out new options all over again.

The standard option  for many European countries is now FTTH (Fiber to the house), an option that is only reaching 1.56% of British homes. The city of Hull has one of the lowest superfast broadband availability, listed at 37.6% because Hull’s independent telecoms provider, KCOM, has already opted to deploy the FTTH strategy, resulting in 37.6% of houses now getting fibre optic speed straight to the house.

Scientists Use Fibre Optic Cable to Transmit 57Gbps

How fast is your internet? 1Mbps? 10Mbps? Are you lucky enough to get a 1Gbps? With governments all over the world now racing to deliver the best internet to everyone, the speed of your internet is quickly becoming a topic of hot debate. For those with speed hate, I am sorry. It would now seem that it is possible to transmit 57Gbps down a fibre optic cable. Sorry.

I apologise because like many I am someone who has been promised great speeds, but more often than not you find those speeds don’t seem to exist and you can almost hear that digital bleeping from dial-up coming to haunt you as you call it a night, letting your movie buff or your game download.

Researchers from the University of Illinois have pushed fibre optic technology to a new level by transmitting 57 gigabytes of data per second through a fibre optic cable, a whole 17 Gbps extra compared to those reported last year. What’s better about this you ask? The speed was achieved with no errors and then to prove the point they went and send 50Gbps while at temperatures of 85 degrees celsius.

The reason the temperature is important is because electrical components get warm over time (like the bottom of the laptop you’ve had resting on your lap while watching Netflix in bed), which can lead to reduced performance and damaged components. The team behind the idea hope that by showing that these speeds are available from room temperature to 85 degrees, companies will have no reason to push these systems out to the public.

You can read the paper that’s been published on the experiments here and begin to imagine how many games you could delete and download at 50 Gbps. So many games.

UK Needs Faster Internet Says Business Leaders Group

Buffering, downloading, pausing, even trying to make out the shapes on a low-resolution video have become common place for so many people as their internet speed caps out, normally before they are anywhere near their advertised (and purchased) speeds. It seems that we aren’t the only ones annoyed by this though as a group of business leaders have spoken out now, accusing the UK government of creating a “poverty of ambition” for internet speeds.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) is formed from business leaders within the UK, and in their report titled Ultrafast Britain, they state that the UK is lagging behind when it comes to enabling faster broadband connections. The government states that 90% of UK properties have access to superfast speeds, with that reaching 95% by next year.

The IoD don’t think this is good enough, with them calling for speeds of 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) by 2030. Currently, the government wants just 10 megabits per second by 2020, a speed which many are already getting.

This isn’t the first time that the internet as a structured provision has been discussed this week, with Ofcom telling BT that its cable network should be opened up to other companies. Currently, BT contains two parts, the core company and Openreach, the part of the company responsible for the cable, fibre and network infrastructure that the UK relies on for its internet.

What is your internet speed? Is it ever what you were actually advertised to be getting? Do you know anyone with super fast/slow internet and does it have a big impact on them?

Linksys Introduces New Modem Router and More DD-WRT Support

Linksys is one of the biggest manufacturers of routers and network equipment in general, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for a more devices as well as room for improvement on the current lineup. Linksys’ new modem router is the X6200 and it is a combined cable and ADSL/VDSL dual-band WiFi model.

The Linksys X6200 supports pretty much any connection you can have from static RJ45-based over cable to DSL connections and I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if you could use the included USB 2.0 port to attach a 3G/4G/LTE modem too. While it can connect to pretty much any type of internet connection, the built-in cable modem might be the selling point for this router. The internet connection speed has gone up and up, but a lot of cable modems lack the capability to handle the fast speeds your provider is selling you, which in return means that you’ll get a worse experience than you should.

“There is a lack of knowledge when it comes to cable modems. Consumers have cable modems or gateways that don’t match the cable broadband subscriptions they are paying for – thus getting slower speeds and frustrating experiences,” said Justin Doucette, director of product management, Linksys.

The Linksys X6200 isn’t the fastest wireless router, but the speeds of 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 433Mbps on the 5GHz band should be sufficient for any internet usage. The modem router also features four RJ45 LAN ports for that direct Gigabit Ethernet connection that will provide you with the best connection. As previously mentioned, the X6200 also features a USB 2.0 port that can turn your USB drive into a network attached storage device.

The new Linksys X6200 modem router will be available in March 2016 for an MSRP of £79.99 and also has more advanced features such as parental control and guest access.

Feature highlights

  • One VDSL/ADSL2/2+ port, Annex A – RJ-11 port
  • One Gigabit WAN port with auto MDI/MDIX sensing (RJ-45) for Router functionality
  • Four Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • One USB 2.0 port
  • Supports VPN pass-through with IPSec, PPTP, and L2TP
  • Supports logging for incoming and outgoing traffic
  • DHCP server for LAN
  • Supports Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)
  • IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack support
  • DSL Modem supports ITU G992.5 ADSL2+ Annex A, L, and M and VDSL G.993.1 and ITU G.993.2 standards

At the same time as Linksys introduced us to this new modem router, they also announced an expansion of DD-WRT support among their existing routers. The support now includes the WRT1900AC, WRT1200AC, and recently released WRT1900ACS Dual-band Gigabit Wi-Fi routers.

 

Epson Create First In-Office Recycling System

So you’re in the office and you print off several pages for a meeting or a project, once you’re done with them though you find the green bin and place them in the recycling. Weeks and weeks later that paper is being recycled and used in something else. Soon though you could find it all happening from inside the walls of your office.

Epson is best known for making printers, but this printer is a little different. Instead of taking those memes or cute kitty pictures you like so much, after putting in some of your used paper, within minutes, this printer will return you perfectly white paper ready for use.

By breaking down the input paper into the fibres that make it up before building them up into sheets, either A4 or A3 and with varying thickness and density settings, while making recovering the original document is pretty much impossible. Want some thicker paper for business cards? Why not something light for quick notes in an office? All made from last weeks paper, no problem.

The current printing rate is about 14 A4 sheets per minute, meaning in an eight-hour day you will create around  6,720 sheets of A4 paper all from the stuff you no longer want to use. By reducing the amount of water required the PaperLab is said to use a “dry process”, meaning a little water can create a large amount of paper rather than having to have the system build into the plumbing like more traditional recycling machines.

US City-Run ISP Boasts 10GBps Internet

An ISP run by the city of Salisbury in North Carolina, USA has announced that it is bringing speeds of up to 10GBps to local residents and businesses. The municipal service, Fibrant, was created five years ago after the city was unable to persuade private ISPs to upgrade its fibre network. Gigabit speeds have been available to Salisbury’s citizens and businesses since last year for $105 a month, while its 50MBps symmetrical service costs only $45 a month.

Though Fibrant is targeting its 10GBps package at businesses, it is “available in every premises in the city,” including residential houses, though it does not expect much interest from home internet users. The most prohibitive aspect of using 10GBps at home is the cost, with Fibrant expect to charge $400 a month for the service.

“We don’t want to oversell customers and have you paying for a 10Gbps service when you’re using 100Mbps,” Robert Van Geons, head of the county’s economic development commission, said.

“To be honest with you, we’re not anticipating residents taking 10Gbps service,” Kent Winrich, Fibrant Director of Broadband and Infrastructure, added. “The reason for 10 gig is economic development… This is really geared toward attracting businesses that need this type of bandwidth and have it anywhere they want in the city.”

Even if residents don’t use the 10GBps service, the network upgrades that Fibrant has implemented will benefit all of its users, insists Winrich. “You go to many cities at 9 o’clock at night and you see your bandwidth drop,” he said. “We’ve got so much headroom now that at 9 o’clock when everyone’s hitting Netflix, it’ll come right through and we won’t have any choke points.”

Thank you Ars Technica for providing us with this information.

FCC Wants Copper Networks Turned Off in Favour of Fibre Upgrade

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is introducing new rules designed to encourage internet service providers (ISPs) to shut down the internet copper network in favour of superfast fibre. Previous legislation required ISPs to seek approval from the FCC before switching off a copper network, but new a new ruling leaves that at the discretion of the ISP, provided that customers see no drop in service.

ISPs still need to notify the FCC if their switch from copper to fibre will affect users, “However, carriers will retain the flexibility to retire their copper networks in favor of fiber without prior Commission approval—as long as no service is discontinued, reduced, or impaired,” the FCC said in its official statement.

“Changing technology does not change responsibility,” Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC, said. “Fiber brings great cost savings, great efficiencies, and great opportunities for new services. But it does not bring the opportunity to walk away from the responsibilities that govern the relationship between those who build and those who use the facilities.”

Though the move is great news for internet users, it could have potential downsides for landline telephone users. A copper network does not require power from the grid to facilitate phonecalls, while a fibre network does. In the event of a power cut, a copper network keeps the phones working, while a fibre network would shut down all phonecalls. A separate FCC ruling will require telecoms providers to provide an 8-hour power backup in the event of a power outage. While that may suffice during a temporary outage, a storm, flood, or hurricane could put phonelines out of action for days.

Thank you Ars Technica for providing us with this information.

NSA Surveillance Program Operating For a Very Long Time

NSA operations have been going on a long, long, long, long time, that is according to the latest revelations by both Edward Snowdon and also by a report from The Intercept, NSA/GCHQ’s top secret surveillance program “Project Echelon” has been spying on the US allies, enemies, and its citizens for last 50 years. It’s being called the first-ever automated global mass surveillance system.

A British investigative journalist by the name of Duncan Campbell wrote a magazine article in 1988 about the existence a surveillance program by the name of Echelon, which is essentially a giant and automated surveillance dragnet that indiscriminately intercepted phone and Internet data from communications satellites. This technique was a precursor to today’s tapping of undersea fibre optic cables by survey non-military targets; these include governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every corner of the world.

In 2000, the European Parliament appointed a committee to investigate the program which lead to the outcome of the same old “The NSA played by the rules” mantra. How do you sum these latest revelations up? A foreign affairs directorate special adviser managed it perfectly by concluding the following,

In the final analysis, the “pig rule” applied when dealing with this tacky matter: “Don’t wrestle in the mud with the pigs. They like it, and you both get dirty.”

If anyone attempts to challenge these practises then both parties will be slandered into oblivion, the only difference is, the good guy always looks worst. I am not surprised by these revelations because frankly, who the hell can be after so much has been leaked out. I also think there is now more than surveillance at stake, but the underpinning of democracy which is looking weaker by the day.

This is also where GCHQ and the NSA look stupid, if they are able to track everyone all of the time, how come the likes of Osama Bin Laden managed to hide for so long? How come there are many criminals, illegal activities and an escalation in gun violence in the US within a world which is perceived to be more under surveillance? After all, the perpetrator of the Charleston church shootings wrote a manifesto which was easily accessible online, if the words “It was obvious that George Zimmerman was in the right” does not look slightly psychopathic, then nothing will.

Thank You fossbytes and The Intercept for providing us with this information.

Comcast 2GB/S Internet Prices and Specs Released

Comcast’s fibre internet was always going to be expensive, and now the telecoms company has revealed just how much 2Gbps internet will cost you; $300 a month! Comcast calls its fastest-ever consumer broadband Gigabit Pro, which offers twice the download and upload speeds of Google Fiber for a small amount of $230 more per month. Comcast says you “must generally live within a third of a mile of our fiber network” in eligible cities to receive Gigabit Pro. The service will be available as part of a 2 year contract too. Comcast is also saying that the installation of the service may take up to two months, meaning people could pay $1000 before they even get service.

On the plus side, Comcast is offering people who agree to that two-year contract an early promotional rate of $159 per month and if you’re the type of person who can afford $300 internet every month, maybe the tacked on installation costs won’t influence your thinking much anyway. Gigabit Pro could make sense for small businesses with colossal bandwidth needs, though Comcast look to be hoping that business users stick with their own, more expensive plans. If nothing else, Gigabit Pro should make for a smooth experience watching a stream on every device inside your home and then some!

Thank you to The Verge for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of FinchFieldIT

101 US Cities to Build Their Own Gigabit Networks

Like many counties that became used to using old copper networks to bring the internet to homes, the US is starting to fall behind in terms of price and speed, with its larger telecoms companies reluctant to invest in expensive fibre networks. With that in mind, 101 US cities have come together to agree to a vastly ambitious project to bring gigabit-speed internet to America, and they’ll build it themselves if they need to.

The cities are part of the Next Century Cities coalition, which aims to help cities to manage the massive undertaking of constructing an extensive fibre network. Deb Socia, executive director for Next Century Cities, said, “Since launching Next Century Cities in October, we’ve seen incredible demand from cities looking to lead the conversation about the crucial role next-generation Internet plays in helping communities thrive.”

The Next Century Cities coalition doesn’t just help create the infrastructure, it also negotiates with federal and state authorities to work within each region’s laws and regulations. Almost as an extension of net neutrality, the group wants to take the internet out of the hands of big business and deliver it to the people, maintaining the highest quality and speed without having to sacrifice services.

Next Century Cities has not set a timeframe by which it hopes to establish gigabit-speed internet networks in its 100 cities, but it currently working hard to make it a reality.

Thank you Vice for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Fibre-Optic Signals ‘Combed’ to Perfection

We have been talking a lot about the limitations of fibre optic cabling and signal transfer for a while now; if you recall back a few weeks, we covered a story regarding how we could be ‘running out of internet‘. Well, it now seems that scientists have overcome these issues. Researchers in the San Diego-based University of California have demonstrated a new way of passing signals through fibre optical cabling over vast distances with very little to no signal loss.

Fibre optic cables are simply amazing, high-speed data transfers have allowed us to jump from basic <20mbps internet connections to >100mbps in the last few years alone. The issue with this method of data transfer is that over a certain amount of cable, the data can start losing integrity without the use of amplifiers. These amplifiers (repeaters) boost the signal to overcome the signal loss, but fibre optic repeaters are expensive. With the new method of ‘combing’ the data signals into much more concentrated signals, researchers have managed to send data over a huge 7,400 miles of fibre cable with little to no signal loss and only using standard amplifiers; which is a massively cheaper option.

What does this mean for us? We could see much faster and cheaper fibre optic connections in the near future. Are you currently using a fibre optic based internet connection? Why not drop into our forums and join the Internet Speed conversation.

Thank you to Slashdot for providing us with this information.

Huawei Achieves 1 Terabits Per Second Speeds

Chinese networking giant Huawei, in partnership with telecoms company Proximus, have achieved unbelievable speeds of up to one terabits per second over super-channel optical cable, the equivalent of sending 33 HD movies in just a second. The successful trial was announced on Huawei’s website on Thursday.

The record-breaking transmission, held in Nice, France, involved sending data over 1,040km fibre connection, implementing a ‘Flexigrid’ infrastructure and Huawei’s own OSN (Optical Switch Node) 9800 platform and 1Tbps OTN (Optical Transport Network) line card, increasing the capacity of the fibre optic cable by compressing the spaces between the transmission channels. The increased density within the cable marks a 150% rise in efficiency over typical 100GBps network connections.

“The network is turning to DC (Data Center) centric, which brings a boost demand for increased bandwidth,” said Jeffrey Gao, President of the Huawei transmission network product line. “Businesses are currently undergoing a digital transformation and consumers require always-on connectivity. Huawei supports its customers through innovation; together we build simplified networks ensuring the best user experience towards end users. This trial is testimony of Huawei’s engagement to innovation.”

“At Proximus we pledge to satisfy the evolving customers demand by investing in new technologies to offer them the best quality and service,” Geert Standaert, Chief Technology Officer at Proximus, added. “Together with Huawei we want to let our network infrastructure evolve to support current and future bandwidth demands and offer our customers an outstanding user experience.”

Image courtesy of ZDNet.

Google Fiber Users Receiving Automated Fines for Piracy

Google is sending customers of its fibre service that are suspected of illegally downloading copyrighted materials automated fines. Google Fiber users have received fines, sent through automated e-mails, of up to hundreds of dollars. Other automated messages from the internet provider include takedown notices to users thought to be hosting pirated data.

Google, though its search engine, usually has a good record at protecting users from DMCA takedown notices from copyright holders, so the company’s use of automated fines as a first point of contact is surprising. Settlement fees send through such e-mails tend to range from anywhere between $20 and $300. Even ISPs such as Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T protects its customers from such settlement demands, which makes Google allowing these e-mails, though copyright enforcers such as Rightscorp and CEG TEK a real concern.

According to Mitch Stoltz, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), ISPs are no required by law to forward DMCA notices to users, and should be obliged to carefully review any such notice before taking action.

“In the U.S., ISPs don’t have any legal obligation to forward infringement notices in their entirety. An ISP that cares about protecting its customers from abuse should strip out demands for money before forwarding infringement notices. Many do this,” Stoltz says.

“The problem with notices demanding money from ISP subscribers is that they’re often misleading. They often give the impression that the person whose name is on the ISP bill is legally responsible for all infringement that might happen on the Internet connection, which is simply not true,” he adds.

Google has so far refused to comment on the matter.

Thank you Torrent Freak for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Techno Buffalo.

We Could be Running Out of Internet

Early last week, reports were coming in that we were running out of internet, mainly IPv4 addresses; well now we could be hitting a much more serious wall, the cables.

The current best mode of transferring all of our data is fibre-optic, these are used to carry a vast amount of the world’s internet data. Since the implementation of these cables, researchers have merely ‘amplified’ the signal being passed through to keep up with the massive growth of internet traffic. Without upgrading the infrastructure, that method won’t work forever; the more signals you pass through the fibre, the more light-saturated and higher signal loss will occur.

French communication specialist René-Jean Essiambre presented data suggesting that the current limit presented by fibre cable is around 100 terabits per second worth of data; which we are heading towards within the next 5 years with the current growth of data. This is based on the current trend of online streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube.

Most of us probably don’t think of how the data actually gets to us, just how quickly it gets to us, but this is a massive subject and physicists and computer scientists are on this.

What could be the fix? Bigger cables? More cables? or maybe we cut down our internet usage…..Nah! Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Thank you to Gizmodo for providing us with this information.

ISP Promotes Higher Broadband Deal for ‘Ideal’ Streaming

We all know the basics that a better internet connection means better internet experience. Well, it seems that this is all Verizon customer service employees know too and it’s over Netflix streaming again.

Netflix offers two standard streaming qualities, standard at approximately 3Mbps and High Definition at approximately 5Mbps, but Verizon sales reps told one customer he should upgrade from his 50Mbps Fibre Optic service due to it not being able to provide the smoothest experience. Industry analyst Day Rayburn had a small run in with multiple sales reps who tried palming this pitching this to him.

“Last week I contacted Verizon to discuss the renewal of my two-year FiOS Triple Play contract which already gives me 50Mbps up/down,” Rayburn wrote. “Three different sales reps via the phone and one via an online chat all tried to convince me to upgrade to 75Mbps, with the false promise that it would give me better quality Netflix streaming, amongst other OTT [over-the-top] streaming services. I was told that with 75Mbps I would get ‘smoother video viewing’ and ‘better quality’ with a higher tier service. Of course, this claim by Verizon is 100 percent false and they know it.”

“During HBO’s Game Of Thrones Season 5 premiere, I had ten separate streams going on at the same time via HBO Now and Sling TV,” Rayburn wrote. “All combined, I consumed just under 29Mbps of my 50Mbps connection and all ten streams had perfect quality. HBO Now’s bitrate maxes out at 4Mbps and some of the streams I had going were to mobile devices. Amongst the ten streams, they averaged 2.9Mbps per second. So even if I had a household of ten people, all streaming at the same time, going from 50Mbps to 75Mbps would not have given me any better video streaming quality over what I already have. Verizon is simply using the average consumer’s lack of knowledge of bitrates and streaming technology to scare them into thinking they need a higher tiered package than they really do.”

Rayburn, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, actually tried defending the ISP last year over the financial dispute with Netflix; I bet he’s changed sides now.

I understand the “make a sale” pitch, but blatantly lying to a customer is just dirty dealings; I wonder how many customers they have falsely snagged with this hook.

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing us with this information

Plusnet to Offer its Own TV Service

It’s a tough market out there with the likes of Sky, BT and Virgin offering massive ranges of TV, Internet and Phone packages. The smaller internet providers such as Plusnet and TalkTalk need to breach into different market segments. The bigger companies are looking into mobile while TalkTalk has moved into the TV market by offering YouView and now it seems Plusnet is joining the YouView trend.

Plusnet, founded way back in 1997, is a low cost and extremely reliable provider. It’s taken them long enough to offer this service; Plusnet is owned by BT after a buy-out deal in December 2013. BT already offer a range of YouView set-top boxes alongside their paid TV subscription service. It would be a possibility to see some of the BT channels making their way on to the YouView service, with the likes of Sky already doing so with TalkTalk customers.

This scheme will be trialled by employees at first, then opened up to a small customer trial. The provider then states they will offer the new TV bundle to all of its Unlimited Fibre customers. Sounds very much like an Alpha, Beta and main release of a computer game.

Do you currently take your TV out with your ISP? Are you a YouView user or do you prefer to use the internet for your source of TV? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks to engadget for this information

BT Aims for 500Mbps UK Broadband Speeds by 2025

British telecoms company BT has announced plans to upgrade its fibre network to offer  “initial speeds of a few hundred megabits per second to millions of homes and businesses by 2020″ and up to 500Mbps speeds by 2025.

“We know the technology is capable, so it’s just looking at how we deliver that on a larger scale,” a BT spokesperson said.

BT hopes to achieve this by implementing its “third-way” (copper and fibre being first and second) G.fast technology, which should prove more cost-effective than expanding its network to fibre-to-the-premises.

“[Government money] probably wouldn’t mean it would be faster [to deploy G.fast upgrades] as we’re still rolling our fibre program and as that winds down G.fast will deployment will wind up hence we believe it will stay in broadly  the same capex envelope. It might mean the scope of any program could be larger, however but it is a significant engineering task,” the spokesperson added.

Source: TechCrunch

Four More US Cities to Get Google Fiber Gigabit Internet

As a further sign of Google’s quest to take over the world, The Wall Street Journal says that the company’s Google Fiber service is set to expand to four more US cities.

The Journal says that those cities are Atlanta, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham, and Charlotte, adding to the cities of Austin, Texas, Provo, Utah, and Kansas City in Missouri. The newspaper says that Google has yet to confirm any such plans, but that the company has dispatched press event invites to local publications in each of the new cities.

The lack of readily available information means that there is currently little information regarding pricing for residents of the new cities, but that it should be around the same price as for the cities Google Fiber is already established in – $80 per month. That only matters of course, when the new system is set up, something that could take at least a year and only in the neighbourhoods where there is sufficient interest.

Source: The Wall Street Journal Via: The Verge

Sky Now Offering £10 Fibre Broadband – With 25GB Cap

What looks like a groundbreaking deal – £10 per month for fibre broadband – is easily shattered by its abysmal 25GB usage cap.

Yes, Sky have announced they are to offer fibre broadband for what is probably the lowest price in the UK.  Subscribers should receive speeds of up to 38 Mbps, alongside Sky’s promise to “never slow you down at peak times”. In reality though the whole thing should come in at £26.40 per month when you factor in line rental.

That’s still cheap, but can’t remove from the utterly stupid 25GB cap. In the product description, Sky say “you can stream movies” and “play online games” – two things that would most easily burn through that lousy cap.

How can they expect anyone to get by with such a paltry limit in the online world we live in today?

Source: The Next Web

ASRock Announce X99 WS-E/10G Motherboard – 22 Gbps NIC

Large scale motherboard manufacturer ASRock has just released their new X99 motherboard, the X99 WS-E/10G – featuring an amazing on-board network interface capabilities of 22 Gbps.

It’s able to achieve such speeds due to its two included Intel I210AT Gigabit Ethernet controllers, coupled with a dual 10-GIGE network interface provided by a single-chip Intel X540. This brings to mind a popular ‘Xzhibit meme’ which would read something like – “Yo dawg, I heard you like NIC’s, so I put a NIC on your NIC so you can network while you network.” This amalgamation of chips result in a blisteringly fast transfer peak speed of 22 Gbps, which will out-match your data drives and internet connection in an instant – it’s time for them to catch up!

ASRock has reportedly released some tests showing the fast transfer speeds in action, likening it to Google Fiber’s 1 Gbps offering and claiming its superiority to this service.

Alongside this NIC offering, ASRock’s new X99 motherboard gives you seven expansion slots (supporting Quad CrossFire and SLI configurations), 12 SATA ports and the ability to utilize up to Xenon Processor models E5 v3 (Haswell-EP) and 128GB of ECC memory.

Given this information, it seems that ASRock has provided us with a solid server option – however there is no mention of retail price, so don’t hold your breath just yet. Even though the 22 Gbps NIC offering is a bit of a gimmick and will vastly outmatch most, if not all, hardware in your possession – it’s nice that the NIC is no longer a bottleneck on our networks. Remember the days of a 10 Mbps card? We do, it sucked.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

USA Intends to Provide Internet to Villages via Laser

According to US technology news website, TechnologyReview, several US communications carriers are going to pilot a technology which will see a laser beam internet up to speeds of 2 Gbps through the air – meaning underground cables don’t need to be laid. This advanced laser and millimeter wave technology is said to be a replacement for conventional fiber, utilized in situations where the population is sparsely populated – including remote US towns and African Villages.

Why not mobile technology? The reports claim that although mobile technology is generally a good alternative, cables will still need to be run to telephone towers tracing to the ‘internet backbone’  – providing a huge cost for manufacturers. This new laser and millimeter technology will allow these US communications carriers to beam a data transmission at a distance of up to 10 kilometers without the need to dig trenches or erect towers. The first countries to be testing this technology are the United States, Mexico, Nigeria and some parts of Africa.

AOptix is the original inventor of this capability, claiming that they believe laser communications will provide an ideal alternative to optical fiber – once again due to the costing nature of laying cables. Data shows that in New York City, the cost of laying just one kilometer of fiber optic cable can cost up to $800,000.

This isn’t a simple point a to point b device either. AOptix claims that you can set up multiple devices to be set as a relay, allowing for 10km worth of transmission to take place per unit. There are a few possible issues with this technology that they haven’t covered in their releases however. How much do these units cost and do they need line-of-sight?

The announcement of this new technology also could have military use, but we’re very interested to know if it needs direct line-of-sight to function.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

AT&T Halt Fibre Investment Until Net Neutrality is Resolved

First, President Obama voiced his support for net neutrality, asking the FCC to apply Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 to protect broadband as a utility. The ISPs responded by threatening to sue if the regulation was implemented. Then, the FCC puffed out its chest, asserting its autonomy as an independent body, one that makes its own decisions. Now, the latest move in the net neutrality row sees AT&T putting a hold on any further fibre network development until the issue of net neutrality is resolved.

AT&T’s CEO, Randall Stephenson, said at a conference today, “We can’t go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed.” He added, “We think it is prudent to just pause and make sure we have line of sight and understanding as to what those rules would look like.”

Source: Mashable

BT Failing to Hit Broadband Fibre Target

During the early days of BT’s fibre broadband rollout, the telecoms provider claimed that up to 25% of its customers would receive fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP). Although BT has succeeded in implementing fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC), the final push to the customer’s home relies on their aging copper network. FTTP can achieve speeds up to 300Mbps, but copper lines from FTTC limit that to 80Mbps.

After a number of BT customers complained about false advertising on behalf of BT – that the use of the copper network means “fibre broadband” is a misnomer – the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigated, revealing that only 0.7% of homes on BT’s network (144,000 premises) had access to true fibre. The ASA agreed that BT was being disingenuous with claims of fibre broadband while still using copper cables to the home.

Source: engadget

New Fibre Technology – 1TB Transferred in 3 millieconds

Do you remember when 10 megabit networks were the crux of our networking technology? Transferring your 500mb back-ups over from one computer to another took an age, let alone downloading something large off the internet.

Once again, in comes science to save the day. Researchers from the University of Central Florida and the Eindhoven University of Technology have put their heads together to create a new breed of fiber networking – allowing for up to 255 terabits per second delivery speeds.

Broken down, what do these speeds mean in real-life circumstances? If you’re looking to transfer a high quality 2GB movie file, you’re looking at a lengthy wait of 0.06 milliseconds and a backup of your whole personal photo and movie collection from your family holidays will set you back 31 milliseconds of your precious time. Comparing this to the current 100Gbps offered by fiber on offer, this new technology offers you a 2550 times increase in overall speed.

Unfortunately this blisteringly fast speed is going to be currently capped by the limitations of our network cards, hard drives and solid state devices – but now the technology is there and reachable, there’s no knowing what is going to come out next.

It works by utilizing glass fiber split up into seven different cores arranged in a hexagon pattern. Techspot went into further detail, explaining: “By using spatial multiplexing, they were able to achieve speeds of 5.1 terabits per carrier and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) to push 50 carriers down the cores. All said and done, it equaled the magic 255 terabits per second.”

Here’s hoping that sometime in the foreseeable future we can see global internet speeds transcending 100Gbps speeds, making loading times a thing of the past.

A man can dream! But for the moment, this technology is actually faster than the total capacity of every glass fiber cable lining the Atlantic Ocean – which currently number in the hundreds.

Image courtesy of Techspot

Google Bid Testing of High-Speed Wireless Internet

Google has reportedly been asking the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for permission to test a new technology that will enable Google Fibre-like speeds to be transmitted wirelessly to our homes.

On Monday, Google bid to the FCC for permission to test this new technology in California and is said to utilize a rarely used millimeter-wave frequency that has the capability to transmit large volumes of information wirelessly; said to be far more advanced than the current models on offer. Google has not publicly stated that this advancement will be the next step in their currently offered fiber services, but the evidence provided points towards this being a possibility.

If approved, the testing will be conducted across three sites in California’s San Francisco Bay area within 5.8HGz and 24.2GHz frequencies and millimeter wave bands of 71-76GHZ and 81-86GHz – based on narrow-bandwidth transmissions.

Steven Crawley, a wireless engineer and consultant who monitors FCC filings commented “From a radio standpoint it’s the closest thing to fibre there is,” adding “You could look at it as a possible wireless extension of their Google Fiber wireless network, as a way to more economically serve homes. Put up a pole in a neighbourhood, instead of having to run fibre to each home”. It’s worth noting that millimeter-wave frequencies can send data over short distances up to several gigabits per second – meaning that even if it can’t match the exact speeds already offered by Google Fiber, it’s still a major advancement on the cable plans currently on offer.

If the testing is a success, it could prove quite the headache for current large-name cable and wireless internet providers such as AT&T and Verizon. We’ve already written in the past that they’re unhappy providing over 4mbps as ‘broadband’, so we find it almost impossible that they would be happy with gigabit speeds.

Image courtesy of 9to5Google

Google Snag Ex-Qualcomm Executive To Speed Up Google Fibre Process

Ex-Senior Vice President of Qualcomm, Dennish Kish, has been announced as Google Fiber’s new VP – taking over from Milo Medin who is reported to be staying on as an advisor.

Kish’s Linked In profile shows that he’s been working at Google’s headquarters since July 2014, however the official release has only just come to light.

This is a bid for Google to speed up their Google fibre rollout reports say, with the service currently only available in Kansas City and Provo, Utah with announced plans to be available in Austin, Texas in the near future. It’s obvious that Google’s amazingly fast 1,000Mpbs connection is only currently available to a very small quantity of the worlds population, which is a shame as it is rated at 100 times faster than the US current average for speed of connection.

Kish is said to have been hired as a driving force behind Googles Fibre expansion, with reports claiming he’ll be responsible for a rollout of up to 34 other cities around the United States.

What is the premise behind Google Fibre and the blazing fast speed it provides?

“Google Fiber was created with the promise of an Internet connection transferred by pulses of light rather than electrical transmission, a decades-old technology that has played a significant role in the advancement of information networks around the world. However, broadband Internet service reigns supreme in the US, due in part to deals struck with local governments and federal regulations demanding blanket access to the Internet” CNet

Other internet providers including AT&T and CenturyLink are working on their own form of gigabit internet throughout other select cities in the US, using a similar premise to Google. With the good reception that fibre has been seeing currently Here’s hoping the rest of the world cottons on sooner rather than later and works on some form of fibre of their own.

When will Google Fiber be coming to my city? I can hear you all screaming it right now. Unfortunately, we don’t have any other information to provide, but Google Fibre’s official website might be something worth hitting F5 over at every now and then.

Image courtesy of Geek Wire

Google Fibre Is Not Coming To The UK Anytime Soon

A couple of days ago we heard of a report that Google was looking at a project to bring Google Fibre to the UK, however it appears many people read into the report in the wrong way. Although Google do admit that they have looked at the possibility of having their ultra-fast fibre service here in the UK, a look at the possibility is all it is.

Since the news has flown around the Google is coming here and everyone has got their hopes up, a spokesperson for Google spoke to Engadget saying that people should not read too much into it. His statement goes on to say that they speak to telecoms companies all of the time but they have not had any serious planning discussions for Google Fibre in the UK.

We have informal conversations with other telecom companies all the time, but we’ve never had any serious planning discussions about bringing Google Fiber to Britain.”

Getting their service up and running in the US has not come without its challenges, aside from the fact that the current internet infrastructure has to be worked on so that it can deliver the blazing-fast 1Gbps speeds that Google boast, Google are in a highly competitive market and it does not take that much to get in the way of other providers and push them out-of-the-way. Not surprisingly this is likely to upset a few people along the way. Fortunately UK ISPs such as BT and Virgin Media, who both offer some of the UK’s fastest fibre internet packages,Google are not going to be here for a while yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start coming up with a game plan in the not too distant future to tackle Google Fibre if they do decide to make the move.

Source: Engadget