There's no question that Internet bandwidth speeds have been steadily increasing throughout the years. In 2007, high-speed Internet users in the U.S. averaged approximately 3.6 Mbps, or Megabits per second. In 2017, just 10 years later, that number rose to nearly 19 Mbps.
Now that we're well into 2020, bandwidth speeds have continued to skyrocket. In 2019, speed tests clocked the average mobile speed of U.S.-based Internet users to an average of 33.88 Mbps. While the exact speeds depend on many different factors, including service providers, geographical location, and more, it's safe to say that our networks are far more efficient – and quicker – than ever before.
Increasing Speeds Across the Board
According to some experts, we're in store for even greater speed increases in the coming years. In fact, researchers in Australia recently broke the world record for the fastest Internet speed. Clocking in at data speeds of 44.2 Terabits per second, or Tbps, the number is light years beyond that was is capable of modern, consumer-grade networks of today.
Nonetheless, Australian researchers have proven that faster Internet speeds are possible. Through their micro-comb technology, which utilizes a series of lasers to transfer data across tiny streams of light, they have been able to reach speeds that were – up until now – only possible in our wildest imaginations.
Bill Corcoran, an engineering lecturer with Monash University in the city of Melbourne, Australia, where the brunt of the research is taking place, stated: ''"We're currently getting a sneak-peak of how the infrastructure for the internet will hold up in two to three years' time, due to the unprecedented number of people using the internet for remote work, socializing and streaming. It's really showing us that we need to be able to scale the capacity of our internet connections."''
If that wasn't enough, all of this connectivity is stored within a single optical chip that is no larger than a standard coin – making it a prime candidate for usage in the consumer space. Unfortunately, it seems that the average computer user will have to wait a while before their network infrastructure is even capable of supporting such connectivity.
These speeds are so fast that they are capable of downloading approximately 1,000 high-definition movies in a single second. For now, however, the technology is aimed at next-gen research initiatives and CPU-intensive communications.
Arnan Mitchell, a professor at RMIT University in Melbourne, stated: "Initially, these would be attractive for ultra-high speed communications between data centers. However, we could imagine this technology becoming sufficiently low cost and compact that it could be deployed for commercial use by the general public in cities across the world."
There's no way to determine a potential timeline for consumer availability as of now, or if the technology will ever became available for consumers in the United States, but we're at least aware of the potential for such speeds. If nothing else, this serves as a new milestone for service providers within the U.S. and across the globe.
How Record-Breaking Internet Speeds Could Consume More Bandwidth Than Ever Before
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