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New Internet speed record set by Euro-US labs
( 2003-10-16 04:51) (Agencies)

Two major scientific research centres said on Wednesday they had set a new world speed record for sending data across the Internet, equivalent to transferring a full-length DVD film in seven seconds.

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN, said the feat, doubling the previous top speed, was achieved in a nearly 30-minute transmission over 7,000 kms of network between Geneva and a partner body in California.

CERN, whose laboratories straddle the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, said it had sent 1.1 Terabytes of data at 5.44 gigabits a second (Gbps) to a lab at the California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, on October 1.

This is more than 20,000 times faster than a typical home broadband connection, and is also equivalent to transferring a 60-minute compact disc within one second -- an operation that takes around eight minutes on standard broadband.

Using current technology, a DVD -- or digital video disc -- film of some 90 minutes length takes some 15 minutes to download from the Internet.

Olivier Martin of CERN, which is also the European Laboratory for Particle Physics and home to a hugely ambitious particle-smashing project to unravel the fundamental laws of nature, hailed the feat as a milestone.

It would bring closer researchers' final goal of abolishing distance and making collaboration between scientists around the world efficient and effectively instantaneous, he said.

Harvey Newman of Caltech, another of the world's major research centres, said the achievement boosted hopes that systems operating at 10 gigabits per second "will be commonplace in the relatively near future."

The previous fastest transfer -- 2.38 Gbps -- was achieved in February this year by a joint team from CERN, Caltec, the US Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Linear Accelerator Centre at Stanford in California.

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