Internet2 Sets New Speed Record

Ed Palomar
PASADENA, Calif. — A new record has been set for the transmission of data online for Internet2. It took less than 17 minutes to transmit 859 gigabytes of data from Geneva, Switzerland, to Pasadena, Calif.

This is a distance of almost 10,000 miles that stretches from Central Europe across the Atlantic Ocean and North America to the West Coast of the United States.

Internet2 is a second-generation network serving academic and research institutions. Adaptation of a data transmission system as swift as Internet2 for web applications such as downloading video has the potential to revolutionize the Internet and its uses.

The record speed of 6.63 gigabytes per second (gbps) is equal to transmitting a feature-length DVD movie in only four seconds. The U.S.-based Abilene system can send data at up to 10 gbps across the continent, but transmitting across an ocean poses both hardware and software problems.

The new record was set by the California Institute of Technology and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Caltech is located in Pasadena, while CERN is in Geneva. Scientists from Microsoft Research and Cisco were among those who participated in the Internet2 project.

The Caltech and CERN experiment is being spurred on by the need to transmit enormous amounts of data for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. This huge underground particle accelerator is scheduled to launch in 2007.