Broaderband: DreamHack plans to activate 120 Gbps net connection
By Mark Brow | Wired.co.uk | November 25, 2011
Networking titans Cisco and Telia are to activate a staggering 120 gigabits per second internet connection at Sweden’s yearly DreamHack expo, and serve it to 20,000 visitors, in an attempt to build the “world’s fastest internet connection”.
DreamHack is an annual digital festival and LAN party, held this year at Elmia Fair in Jönköping, Sweden. Throughout the course of the event, from 24 to 27 November, participants are encouraged to hook up and download all manner of content.
The connection runs a distance of about 300km from Stockholm to Jönköping, and 50 staff members from Cisco, Telia and Dreamhack have spent the last year and a big stack of cash building the record-breaking infrastructure.
Telia handled the fibreoptic cables, while Cisco deployed two CRS-3 routers (capable of scaling up to 322Tbps — fast enough for all 1.3 billion people in China to conduct a video call simultaneously, apparently). While the CR router family was in development, it was apparently known by the codename of HFR, which stood for “Huge Fucking Router”.
The previous DreamHack-record managed to squeeze 20 gigabits per second down a pipe. The organisers have already smashed that (at the time of writing, the peak bandwidth usage has been 23.4Gbps) but this year the organisers plan to multiply that number by six.
An eye-watering 120Gbps internet connection would theoretically allow 750,000 people to stream music from Spotify simultaneously, or allow a person to grab a movie off iTunes in 47 thousandths of a second. You can follow the progress at DreamHack’s data dashboard.
“It’s great to be part of building the fastest connection in the world,” said Jonas Malmgren, sales manager at Cisco. “In addition, we now have the opportunity to test our equipment under extreme conditions.
“120 gigabits is tremendously fast but data and video traffic on the internet is growing sharply, as well as the need of broadband. DreamHack gives us a taste of the future net speeds,” Malmgren said.
As a point of comparison, Ofcom said in March 2011 that the “average UK broadband speed is 6.2Mbps,” though speeds up to 100Mbps are available. In South Korea, the world leader in internet connectivity and speed, 100Mbps is about average, and experiments into 1Gbps connections are currently being carried out.
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