If you don’t stand for anything less than one megabyte per second when downloading important documents (read: whatever shows you missed Sunday night) from the Internet, you’ll be happy to know that the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, otherwise known as the IEEE, has begun work on a one terabit-per-second Ethernet speed.
Currently, the standard for cutting edge high-speed Internet is 40 gigabits-per-second to 100 gigabits-per-second, both of which were deemed the new standards back in 2010. You may recall the regular-folk standard is 10 Gbps, which is prominently displayed on cheap routers around the world. The industry is moving so quickly, however, that IEEE was prompted to perform a global study of the Internet that found bandwidth usage is growing at such a fast rate, that they are now working toward a new Ethernet standard of 400 gigabits-per-second to one terabit-per-second. One terabit per second as a standard for cutting edge, high-speed Ethernet.
IEEE found that, as of earlier this year, the Internet is growing like a hamster in a Goosebumps novel. At a strictly router level, total traffic is doubling every 18 months, while wired connections are growing at a rate of 25% every year, wireless is growing at a rate of 39% every year, and astonishingly, mobile data connections are growing at a rate of 92% every year. Basically, the Internet is exploding. So much, in fact, that IEEE predicts that by 2015, bandwidth requirements will be ten times larger than they were in 2010. By 2020, IEEE predicts that bandwidth requirements will be 100 times larger than they were in 2010.
Due to this predicted speed consumption rate being less than ten years away, IEEE aims to raise the Ethernet standard to a minimum of 400 Gbps to a maximum of one 1 Tbps, because they feel that’s what would be necessary.
For now, IEEE has set up the 802.3 Industry Connections Higher Speed Consensus Group, which will be in charge of the new standard. It’s predicted that the new standards will include the aforementioned 400 Gbps and 1 Tbps, much like the current standards of 10 Gbps and 100 Gbps. The change most likely won’t affect the Internet end-user, as all we’ll probably have to do is purchase a new router, some new wires, and possibly a new data plan.
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