back to article UK.gov 'HyperHighway' aims to 'speed up the internet by 100x'

The UK government says it hopes to "make the internet 100 times faster" by kicking off a £7.2m research project dubbed "Photonics HyperHighway". David Willetts, minister for universities and science, announced the scheme during a speech at Southampton uni earlier today. “The internet is fundamental to our lives and we use it …

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  1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    IT Angle

    More like

    £7.2m per second

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      This is broadband we're talking about

      It'll be UP TO £7.2m per second!

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
        Joke

        This is government IT we're talking about

        AC said: "It'll be UP TO £7.2m per second!"

        But the government are pushing it, and it's IT....(wait for it)

        So the budget will START AT £7.2m, and go up by the second.

        BOOM BOOM said basil brush.

  2. N2 Silver badge

    Lets all hope

    That BT have absolutely nothing to do with it..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Let's also hope...

      ... that the politicians have nothing further to do with it.

      It's amazing how much that are able to talk, while saying virtually nothing.

  3. Andy Livingstone

    An open letter

    Dear Mr Willetts,

    Could you please turn your attention next to getting gas to this area? It has been available for over a century in some places, they tell me. It might get you no publicity but is sure to be a vote winner. Desparate times and desparate coaltions call for desparate measures, old chap.

    Yours in hope.

  4. Naughtyhorse

    faster, more efficient...

    how much of the £7.2m will be spent on repringting all the dictionaries with the new definition of the word revolutionary?

  5. Eden
    Thumb Up

    I'll bet his real motivations...

    I'll bet his real motivation is to be able to download more pr0n faster :)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "new concepts like cloud computing"

    Says it all really.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £7.2m

    The £7.2m is for the cost of the research project, not the cost of the actual upgrade.

  8. Tron

    Dear Mr. Willetts,

    Thankyou for your recent order. Your order is now being processed.

    Should you wish to amend your order, please log in to your Amazon account.

    Your order...

    Plastic Cup. Economy. x 60000000 £6800000.00

    1 mile String. x 4000 £400000.00

    You chose Free Economy Delivery (2-4 days).

    Thankyou for your order.

  9. Tom 7 Silver badge

    higher transmission rate lower data rate

    look forward to more contentless HD flash videos of telling you of the thing you were looking for but not actually getting you any closer.

    Parkinsons law for bandwidth: Shit will grow to fill the bandwidth hiding real data.

    1. ideapete
      Coffee/keyboard

      No Cups Dummy

      You plug the string in their ears , cups any size D or whatever total waste of money in the wrong place. Or with WiFi you only need a 6" piece ( Ho Ho ) at each end to make it work. Although you cannot rub the string piece to hard or the receiver person looses controlhttp://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/pint_32.png

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Piracy....

    Soon all the pirates will have downloaded everything then there will be a massive speed boost.

  11. Simon Rockman

    On hundred times faster than what?

    Is it 100x the 11Mb/sec I have now, or the 24Mb/sc it's rated at or the 100Mb/sec I could have with Virgin?

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Badgers

      100x faster

      I'm assuming that since our core routers run at 40Gb, and the upgrades are already planned to take that to 100Gb that this extra is to take us to 10Tb

      However since there must already be work in progress that increases the 100Gb, then this new research must go even higher :)

      After all just giving everyone 100x 100Mb won't help because the 100Gb tubes will already be full.

      1. ideapete

        100 Gigglebits

        Or 12.5 gigabyte - simple packet switching sends the overflow and my granny and she delivers it by bus , far faster, anything missing blame Blair http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/coat_32.png

  12. Mountford D
    FAIL

    Move along - it's just politician speak

    Forgive me if I am being cynical but I've heard it all before - all leading to absolutely nothing (99% of the time), a squandering of of tax-payers' money (the £13billion NHS CRS debacle) or if we really do something that is actually innovative (computer technology), it will simply get nicked by the Americans.

    Politicians would be far more credible if they actually delivered. Just fulfilling the promise to roll-out super fast broadband to every home in the UK would be a start. Never mind a "hyperhighway", we haven't got to the "superhighway" yet. Not even a plain "highway" in certain parts.

    1. Nick Gibbins

      Don't mistake the politician's blurb for the research that's being funded

      The principal investigator on the grant (David Payne) has a world-leading track record in photonics, having been behind the development of the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_amplifier">erbium-doped fibre amplifier</a> (look at the references at the bottom of that Wikipedia article). Without optical amplifiers, undersea cables would be more expensive and less reliable, so his contribution to the basic technology that underpins the global telecommunications network (including the Internet) is substantial.

      Call this a squandering of taxpayers' money if you want, but this is the sort of investment in basic R&D that's essential to the future economic wellbeing of the UK.

      (declaration: I'm a lecturer in the same department as Payne, but not one of his direct colleagues)

    2. ideapete
      Pirate

      Pollyticians speak hyper

      My Parrot can do that 2http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/pirate_32.png

    3. ideapete

      What in Public ?

      Saw a polyti deliver in public once and it was not pretty - careful what you ask4

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So 150mb/s

    Frankly, I would be happy with 10Mb/s at the moment. Downloading ISOs off technet is an overnight job and that is if I am lucky and it doesn't die 30mins after I go to bed.

    1. nematoad Silver badge

      Ha!

      To get to 2 Mb/s would be bloody marvellous.

      Re. the failure of downloads, use a download manager . I always use KGet for any long-winded jobs and it has saved me a lot of hassle.

      1. Charles Manning

        What third world shit-hole do you live in?

        I live in rural New Zealand. The only way to get broadband where I live is via a wireless provider using microwave infrastructure to cover the last 65km from a city.

        I pay for a 2Mbit/s link. Most of the time I get over 3Mbit/s.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Right now, I'd settle for...

    ...better than 2Mbps ADSL that doesn't drop the connection at random times of day and night.

    And how is all this airy-fairy photonics stuff going to help me reach the vast majority of the sites I use, which are outside the UK?

    And how do I go about getting a government that knows its arse from its elbow?

    1. ideapete

      We will sell you

      A photon receiver , just send my brother in Lagos a Gazzilion pounds and he will shit ( sorry ship ) you a boxhttp://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/it_angle_32.png

  15. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    "Hyperhighway"

    Remember the Information Superhighway? That was a favourite with politicians. It's only a matter of time before Millenium Bugbusters put in a reappearance.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. LinkOfHyrule

    Tubular

    This is gunna take a lot of extra serieses of tubes to acheive!

    1. ideapete

      Wood Will Work

      Preferably balsa makes great tubeshttp://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/big_brother_32.png

  18. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    A Bargain

    For only 7million quid they are planning to reinvent the optical, fibre, the nature of light, develop photonics routers and develop new materials with 100x the throughput - at least thats what their grant application claims.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:a8_SWnCrhZoJ:gow.epsrc.ac.uk/ViewGrant.aspx%3FGrantRef%3DEP/I01196X/1+Photonics+HyperHighway&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca&source=www.google.ca

    1. David 164 Bronze badge

      It not as far fetch as you make it out to be

      Most likely given the pedigree of the team they have industry funding to an University internal grant an there own pot of money to, which could double or triple the pot of money they have available of the length of the research project.

      An us Brits always get stuff done cheaply anyway an usually still better than anyone else, so I would not be entirely surprise if they achieve all there goals.

      Commercialisation of new technologies is often the expensive bit an the part which the UK is terrible at an has been for a long time.

  19. Charles Smith

    Wrong target

    Suggest they focus on implementing IPV6 first.

    1. Andrew Martin 1
      Happy

      out of date

      Actually, Southampton were doing research on IPv6 when I worked there over ten years ago.

    2. David 164 Bronze badge

      Not there Job

      Not there job, the protocol has be written, coded up , agreed upon by everyone but no likes spending money so industry never brother implementing it, which is why there will be a mad rush over the next couple of years as the current addresses run out.

      If it any fault it Government they should of force companies upgrade there equipement years ago.

      Hardware vendors have only just launch IPV6, But I am sure they will jack up there prices once the crisis hit an we ran out of addresses. I am pretty sure some Hardware CEOs will be laughing all the way to the bank.

  20. ideapete

    Hyper is it ( Bring on the Bitter )

    "Photonics Hyper Highway". Said real fast by my dog is amusing. Emphasis on Hyper as imaginary things flying through the air courtesy of boffins , 100 x the speed of a tortoise does not make it a Ferrari no mater how many labels they put on it. These Bozos don't even know the difference between a bit and a byte ( 8 x bits ) and their literature shows it. How fast do you want it madam ? - get outa here. We are using ESP in Yankee land courtesy of our Pres so therehttp://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/boffin_32.png

    1. Gavin King
      Joke

      Tortoises

      Now, from the best information I can find, a tortoise walks at about 0.1 m/s, or about 0.36 km/hr.

      Thus, 100x this is about 36km/hr. So maybe it's not a Ferrari, but maybe a small, old Fiat?

  21. Jon Press

    What happened to all the fibre...

    ... that was installed at the height of the .com boom and subsequently went dark as prospective ISPs went bust? I thought that at least in the speculative economies of the west there was a good chance we have more fibre capacity than we're likely to need for some considerable time - if only someone can remember where the ends are...

  22. Ubuntu Is a Better Slide Rule
    Go

    Please Focus On Access Technology

    b/c the trunk lines are fast enough with EDFA DWDM fibers. The expensive part is digging up the streets.

    Instead develop a 1Gibt/s version of Ronja or a simple and effective microwave link usable by everybody.

    http://ronja.twibright.com/

  23. Christian Berger Silver badge

    The problem is not the backbone

    The problem surely is not the backbone, in the 1990s phone companies all over the world laid fiber optic to every telephone exchange. I doubt they put less than 100 fibers per connection there.

    Now 10 gigabits per second per Wavelength is nothing new any more. You can have about 100 wavelengths per fibre, giving you a terabit per second per Fibre, or 100 terabits per second per connection. Considering the exchange serves roughly 10000 people, each one of those still gets a _minimum_ of 10 gigabits per second, usually much more.

    The big problem is the connection to the user. Telephone wires or cable television cables just don't have the bandwidth required for that. One would most likely have to upgrade the last mile to fibre. Perhaps another solution would be something similar like nano-BTSes on UMTS, only supplying a few people with fibre, and using MIMO technologies to service the rest. Of course nobody in their right mind would want to pay for something like that.

  24. TkH11

    omission

    Shame the article didn't mention anything about the technology itself.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Skeptical

    Reading it form several other sources, including the official site and the name itself suggest that all they're proposing is to bring optical technology into the hardware like the router and switches.

    Which I'm pretty sure private companies have already started this area of research as the close to market LightPeak already shows.

    Basically it still relies on Fibre Optics cable unless they're saying they can solve FTL travel, so in the end, bandwidth is still limited by the cables, they're just making sure it's more effectively utilised.

    7.2 mil grant won't really make any difference except the people who's getting this grant, if they can successfully beat the Americans in patenting the technology, would make them billionaires using tax payers money, if not, they got a few years worth of living expense.

  26. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    FAIL

    great

    when this comes in, I'll be able to hit the throttling limit in 2 seconds

  27. Michael Dunn
    Thumb Up

    Le mot just!

    Like the pun: a shining example.

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