> Nope, I would imagine most broadband services currently available in
> Ireland now, or in test, would have pretty low bandwidth from the ISP to
> the net at the moment.
Hum - the concept of "the net" as a creature of infinite bandwidth that
is limited only by your provider's connection to it is one thing, but
in reality the Internet is a congested mess of fibre and more-or-less
working backbones that can't expand fast enough to cope with the
clouds of HTTP segments that fill it up. If everybody suddenly got
45Mbps of bandwidth to their house, this doesn't mean everyone would
be able to download anything from anywhere at 45Mbps. The core network
just couldn't cope with it. Sure, you'd be fine for local stuff, and
things would be generally faster, but all your internet use would not
suddenly become 720 times faster.
A network is only as fast as the slowest point in it, which in this case
would be, well, most of the network beyond your local one. There's more
bandwidth in the big backbones, yes, but it's shared between a lot more
people and a lot of major networks. It'll improve your latencies, sure,
but overall transfer rates won't get 720 times faster. They'll get faster,
but not that much faster..
> Maybe this 60-gig cable that the government has been talking about will
> change this, but I personally can't see how they'll square that when the
> telcos charge such vast prices for leased lines as it stands...
It's another bit of fibre for the telcos to split up and rent out -
probably won't change anything fundamental in the industry, except that
there'll be more bandwidth available for those who can afford it. You
can't expand an internetwork without the infrastructure, and adding more
fibre just means there's more available infrastructure. If scarcity of
available space on international circuits is a major factor in the cost,
it'll have an effect, but if all it means is less install lead times,
it won't dent things much.
> Someone on ILUG mentioned that the Genesis thing sounds like VDSL (see
>http://www.dsl.com/intro.html#22), which is very high bandwidth but with a
> very short max cable length (3000 ft apparently). So it does exist --
> maybe only in a lab somewhere -- but it is out there!
Getting stuff working in a lab is all well and good, but getting it
working in the real world is something else. I'll remain happily
sceptical until it's published stuff rather than "sorry, can't talk
about it" right now. Secret technologies are all too often snake oil.
Call me a sceptic, but I think universally reliable high-speed home
access for everybody is still a long way away. The network just isn't
up to providing the sort of service end users demand yet. Now that people
don't think twice before yanking hundred-megabyte files halfway across
the globe (then probably deciding they don't want it after all and
deleting it) and everything needs images, sound, bells and whistles,
the net's about as fast as it felt a few years ago, even though the
underlying infrastructure has speeded up a lot. Many users (not anybody
in this thread, I should emphasise, it's merely a Slashdot-reading
observation) seem to assume that high-bandwidth Internet access with
no limitations is a right - see those US students threatening to take
universities to court because they're blocking use of Napster on their
_academic_ networks. Personally, I just think that's greedy and shows
some pretty fundamental misunderstandings of the realities of today's
Computer Science System Administrator, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
mike.knell at cs.tcd.ie -=- http://www.cs.tcd.ie/Mike.Knell/
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