UK jumps on broadband research bandwagon that could change life as we know it

splatter.jpgThe UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is to invest £1m to help spur technology to deliver ultra fast internet access of up to 10Gbs to homes and businesses.

The result, says the TSB, could be a major change in the way that businesses operate across the world.

The cash will be used for feasibility projects, which TSB says will help establish European partnerships that will take part in larger EU-funded research and development initiatives.

The ultimate aim is the development of pan-European Ultra Fast Broadband to help enable European companies gain competitive advantage on a global scale.

Mike Biddle, lead technologist at the TSB said the “challenge is to identify ways to address the technical issues facing the introduction of ultra-fast broadband within the next decade and to build European collaborations to exploit the technology, while generating wealth for the UK.”

It is a smart idea getting in at the beginning, but like MarkJ at ISP Review, let us hope the feasibility studies include looking at whether the internet could handle anything like 10Gps in millions of homes and businesses.

Think-tank Nemertes warned last month that unless the network infrastructure of the internet is upgraded, users will experience slower and unreliable connections by next year.

Nemertes said as demand for bandwidth potentially doubles, computers will regularly start freezing and dropping offline as early as next year.

Image by jurvetson on Flickr

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I'd like to point your readers to the full Nemertes report: Also, I'd like to clarify that computers will not start "freezing and dropping offline." I'm afraid that is the poetic license taken by the author of the original article. Nemertes predicts that Internet demand may exceed supply by 2012-2013. The backbone, fiber and metro layers of the Internet will scale to meet all projected demand. The challenge is the last mile, particularly in the USA; the primary focus of our research. Unless broadband access scales to meet demand we predict negative performance impact as early as next year. Initially the effects will be unpredictable performance and eventually could lead to service brownouts. A brownout might freeze a browser or email client - due to poor response time - but the computer itself will never freeze. It's important to note that we are modeling supply and demand since ISPs do not disclose their actual demand and capacity measures. We urge the Technology Strategy Board to push for disclosure of ISP traffic and capacity numbers. There are ways to aggregate and scrub the data to prevent disclosure of proprietary ISP information. Thank you for your consideration. Ted Ritter Nemertes Research