Scientists and researchers have set a new Internet speed record by managing to transfer data at a sustained rate of 186 gigabits per second (Gbps), a rate equivalent to moving two million gigabytes -- or 100,000 full Blu-ray discs -- in a single day.
The blazing transfer speed was accomplished at the SuperComputing 2011 conference in Seattle in November by an international team seeking ways to more efficiently share and distribute the massive amount of data coming from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) with scientists all over the world.
"Enabling scientists anywhere in the world to work on the LHC data is a key objective, bringing the best minds together to work on the mysteries of the universe," David Foster, CERN's deputy IT department head said in a CalTech media release.
According to CalTech, the amount of data produced by the LHC is only expected to grow in the coming years:
More than 100 petabytes (more than four million Blu-ray disks) of data have been processed, distributed, and analyzed using a global grid of 300 computing and storage facilities located at laboratories and universities around the world, and the data volume is expected to rise a thousand-fold as physicists crank up the collision rates and energies at the LHC.
By comparison, Verizon's FIOS network, which offers some of the fastest speeds available to the public in the U.S., comes in at a mere 150 Mbps, less than one one-thousandth of the speeds achieved in this test, according to NPR.
Also reporting on the record-setting speeds, the BBC noted that the fastest transfer rates available to the public in the U.K. is a 1.5 Gbps connection currently being tested in East London by Virgin Media.
The group responsible for the transfer between Seattle and Victoria, Canada, was comprised of high-energy physicists, computer scientists, and network engineers and the study was led by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the University of Victoria, the University of Michigan, the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), Florida International University and others, according to CalTech.
Check out the video below for more information on the connection between the University of Victoria and the Caltech booth at the Super Computing 2011 Conference in Seattle.
Photo by Flickr user Manchester-Monkey