Thursday, November 24, 2005

131 Gbps

SlashDot has a pointer to an article describing a bandwidth contest. The winners, a CalTech partnership, acheived an average transfer rate of 131 Gigabits per second.
Transferring this amount of data in 24 hours, is equivalent to a transfer rate of 3.8 (DVD) movies per second, assuming an average size of 3.5 GB per movie.

3.8 movies per second!

There are still a number of technical hurdles to be overcome, including hardware and software that can take advantage of such high data speeds, before this becomes commonplace. But even if it takes ten years, and it would surprise me if it took that long, schools need to start planning now.

What happens to education when the entire class can be present without everyone being in the same room? or even in the same country? Do teachers become private contractors, competing for students from around the world, in an education open market? Do schools and libraries fade away? or do they transform themselves into information hubs?

Web 2.0 is the crack in the dam, and whether we are plugging the hole or drinking freely from the leak, the dam is about to burst.

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