Task: Replace our international fiber-optic trunk lines with thicker cables that carry 10 times the data per second
Status: Demonstrated last year
Our next generation of transoceanic submarine fiber cables may be built according to the Alcatel-Lucent design that recently set transmission speed records by moving data 10 times as fast as current cables. The new cables started with a fiber core that is on average 40 percent thicker than the ones currently draped across the ocean floor. Engineers designed an array of 155 lasers that emit light of different wavelengths, and in addition to encoding information in the timing of the light pulses the way current cables do, they modulated the polarization and the phase to pack extra data onto each light wave. The new fiber cables can send 15.5 terabytes—the equivalent of 400 DVDs—each second from Boston to Bilbao.
Make the Network Airborne
Task: Float broadband blimps above areas that are a headache to hardwire
Status: Delivery of a first ship to a military contractor this year; full platforms in 3–5 years
We're going to need to dig a lot more fiber and copper in the coming years to meet the exploding communications demand. Or we can just float a few blimps. Sanswire, a manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles, is working on a 525-foot helium- and fuel-gas-filled airship, the Stratellite, which would provide blanket broadband coverage from the tranquil heights of the stratosphere. Hovering at 65,000 feet, each blimp could provide phone, TV and high-speed Internet to an area about the size of Texas, without the lag times that have plagued satellite-based communications. Stratellites can even daisy-chain to link cities and rural areas across the country—all without a single new wire touching the ground.
Status: Available now
Corning's new, flexible ClearCurve cable features a nanomaterial mesh wrapped around the cable core that keeps the photons in line even when stapled, bent, or twisted around a nail—usually any such quick turns would make the line go dark. That means telecoms can finally put fiber-optic lines into people's homes, where cables often run up against right angles and tight squeezes from the sidewalk to the house. Verizon is already using the cable for its FiOS service.
Read the rest of PopSci's plan to rebuild America here.
The blimp idea for having universal broadband fascinates me
"15.5 terabytes—the equivalent of 400 DVDs"
since when is 400 dvd equal to 15.5 terabytes
at 4.47gb per dvd x 400 dvds = 1.788 TB. even if they were dual or triple layed that would still be under 6 TB
science is hard.
He meant to say 15.5 Terabits.
its depends on the dvd form that is by commercial business not the stuff u but at your local best buy. look at sony blue ray dice capacity and others that are not offered in stores.
That blimp idea is very forward thinking. Why wire everything when you can very easily broadcast from a very safe height in the atmosphere.
You would literally blanket a vast area with signal so you could have access even in the remotest of areas.
oh great, lets bankrupt america for all this junk we don't need. We can thanks Bush for that. Jerk.
Hey Boka not like obamas doing better we could've spent that trillion dollars in the stimulus bill to create these things to improve our infrastructure and create jobs.
Yeah, right - use blimps to relay critical communications...
Anyone remember the fate of The USS Shenandoah, the USS Macon, or the USS Akron? Hint: it wasn't sabotage - ALL were lost IN STORMS. Ask the folks who fly blimps NOW whether or not they willingly fly in stormy weather.
NOT a good idea.
Then there's the OTHER half of the equation - What part of the SPECTRUM do you plan on using for this? Maybe the military can be persuaded to give up some of the 200 megahertz of VHF they aren't using any more... And DON'T say repurpose the broadcast radio and TV spectrum... most of those frequencies aren't suitable for true broadband. You'd need high UHF or microwave, at least, to get the bandwidth per channel. And THOSE frequencies are also needed for Public Safety and terrestrial cell service, plus what's already there. No channels available; and no platforms to transmit from, anyway. BAD idea.
why not work on broadband over power lines (BPL)? there are definatly a few kinks to work out. however, you could upgrade the nation's power grid as well as its broadband access, all in one go.
"Yeah, right - use blimps to relay critical communications...
Anyone remember the fate of The USS Shenandoah, the USS Macon, or the USS Akron? Hint: it wasn't sabotage - ALL were lost IN STORMS. Ask the folks who fly blimps NOW whether or not they willingly fly in stormy weather."
The Blimps, being at 65,000ft, will avoid all weather contact. there may be wind but i think that can be figured out pretty easily. I'm pretty sure they'll fly autonomously. I dont think anyone is going to pay a pilot's hefty salary if a few silicon pieces could do it much more accurately.