It’s called Velocity 1, and a very small new building development in the UK has been given fibre optic cabling from the exchange right the way to the ethernet sockets in your living room. Tenants of Wembley City development in London are the first ever people in the UK to be able to get 100mb broadband on demand.
This means that for the first time ever, 100mb is not the theoretical outcome for the speed of broadband because the fibre optic cabling spreads the whole way from your local telephone exchange to the ethernet plug on your computer. No ancient copper cabling whatsoever.
However, there are a few small glitches. The main one being that it isn’t permanent – you pay £1 for 30 minutes worth of 100mb broadband on demand. It isn’t technically possible to provide 100mb broadband 24/7 in this country, yet. The rest of the time you’ll get either 8, 16, or 32mb broadband depending on what you are currently paying.
Still, you can’t get 100mb broadband anywhere else in the UK so it must feel good to be able to say you are one of about 30 people in the UK who can use 100mb broadband on demand. Pretty awesome.
Most of the UK generally gets a theoretical maximum of 8MB (megabit) per second. And most of the time that isn’t the case because of our poor copper cabling and long distances from our exchanges. But for the means of this, I am going to suggest that I did have 8MB (megabit) per second speed. Now think about the fact that a megabit is not a megabyte. 8 megabits translates to approximately 1 megabyte, so if you had perfect 8 megabit download speed, you could download a file at 1 megabyte per second.
Now, think about this – 100 megabits translates to 12.5 megabytes per second. That is pretty amazing. That means that providing the source server is fast enough, people with 100mb broadband could download three 128kbps MP3 songs in just one second!
Now that might seem like absolute gobbletygook to you, but considering the UK’s current average broadband speed of 3.5 megabit (0.4375 megabyte) per second that is pretty awesome.
So, maybe in 10 years time a lot more of us will be able to indulge on 100mbps broadband. Unlikely, but it would be nice. We’ll have to see what happens.