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Researchers Break Internet Speed Records

A group of researchers led by the University of Tokyo has broken Internet speed records -- twice in two days. Operators of the high-speed Internet2 network announced Tuesday that the researchers on Dec. 30 sent data at 7.67 gigabits per second, using standard communications protocols.

The next day, using modified protocols, the team broke the record again by sending data over the same 20,000-mile path at 9.08 Gbps.

That likely represents the current network's final record because rules require a 10 percent improvement for recognition, a percentage that would bring the next record right at the Internet2's current theoretical limit of 10 Gbps.

However, the Internet2 consortium is planning to build a new network with a capacity of 100 Gbps. With the 10-fold increase, a high-quality version of the movie "The Matrix" could be sent in a few seconds rather than half a minute over the current Internet2 and two days over a typical home broadband line.

Researchers used the newer Internet addressing system, called IPv6, to break the records in December. Data started in Tokyo and went to Chicago, Amsterdam and Seattle before returning to Tokyo. The previous high of 6.96 Gbps was set in November 2005.

Speed records under the older addressing system, IPv4, are in a separate category and stand at 8.8 Gbps, set in February 2006.

The Internet2 is run by a consortium of more than 200 U.S. universities. It is currently working to merge with another ultrahigh-speed, next-generation network, National LambdaRail.

The announcement of the new record was made at the Internet2 consortium's spring meeting, which ends Wednesday in Arlington, Va.

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