Blog Post

Qwest Sees 100 Gbps in Its (Long Haul) Future

qlogoQwest (s q) today said it has purchased gear from Alcatel-Lucent (s alu) that will one day allow its long-haul network to achieve speeds of 100Gbps.  Since the company decided last June to keep its long-haul network, the upgrades were part of a continued and necessary investment in greater speeds and capacity, Qwest CTO Pieter Poll said. However, before folks get too excited, the new equipment makes the Qwest backbone network 100Gbps-ready, rather than delivering those speeds anytime soon. Current long haul networks are delivering about 40Gbps.

Just for fun, the Qwest release offers examples of how fast a 100Gbps network can transfer data:

  • 138 4.7GB DVDs in 60 seconds
  • A 2-hour HD movie or presentation in less than 9 seconds
  • A fully loaded 500GB hard drive in 46 seconds
  • 90 digital mammograms per second

Those at home won’t see these speeds, as this is for Qwest’s business customers that connect to its fiber-based long-haul network to link data centers and for the broader wave of Internet traffic aggregated by ISPs that is sent out over the giant backbones of the web. But because Qwest is saying that Internet traffic is doubling approximately every 19 months, and that each year, individual Internet users consume approximately 43 percent more bandwidth than the previous year, it’s clear that demand for backbone capacity will continue to rise. Heck, Qwest is doing its part to increase usage by upgrading its broadband customers in some areas to faster services with better upload speeds.

2 Responses to “Qwest Sees 100 Gbps in Its (Long Haul) Future”

  1. johnbbartell

    100 Gbps is where we are headed, undoubtably. Qwest is going to be a pioneer. I remember installing what was probably the first DS3 Frame Relay access connection in the mid1990s, about 15 years ago, and that was quite leading edge. The backbone of the Internet had only been upgraded to T1 about 4 years earlier (1991 I believe). 100 Gbps is (taking out my trusty, well-worn college calculator) over 2000 times as fast. If we assume both are comparably state-of-the-art for their time, then maximum access bandwidth is doubling about every 18 months (hmm, sounds something like Moore’s law).