Last month we wrote about Terabit Ethernet and cited industry experts as saying that the first commercial use of Terabit Ethernet could come as soon as 2015 (imagine doing network traffic monitoring at that speed!). This month comes news that a U.K. research agency is investing GBP1 million to help companies research into the commercial release of Internet access at speeds of between 1Gbps and 10Gbps. The agency, the Technology Strategy Board, says those speeds are between 100 and 1,000 times faster than the current broadband speeds available to British consumers today.
Among the studies that will each be funded to the tune of between GBP30,000 and GBP100,000, include research with such heady titles as “high volume photonic packaging for bi-di components,” and “feasibility examination of low cost, tunable ONUs (optical network units) for WDM PONs (passive optical networks)”.
The agency says the studies would be used to establish European collaborations that would participate in larger EU-funded research and development initiatives. The result could be a pan-European Ultra Fast Broadband, and “could see European companies gaining a massive competitive advantage on a global scale,” the agency says.
The agency doesn’t provide dates or timeframes for the projects. In the meantime, U.K. ISP Virgin Media earlier this month said it has started customer pilots of 200Mb Internet access. Virgin is working with Cisco to test out what the ISP says is the world’s fastest implementation of DOCSIS 3. Virgin notes that J:Com in Japan supplies broadband at up to 160Mbps, while Cablevision in the U.S. offers 101Mbps. Some 100 ‘lead adopters’ in Ashford in Kent are trailing the Virgin ultrafast network for full high-definition and 3D TV.
Elsewhere in the world, South Korea is reported to be working on giving its citizens 1Gbps Web connections by 2012. The government there is planning to invest up to a third of the $24.6 billion it will cost to introduce the 1Gbps network. The rest will come from private carriers, reports Engadget.