In partnership with Temple University’s Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab, the university’s capstone journalism class, students Chelsea Leposa and Jared Pass will cover neighborhood technology issues for Technically Philly and Philadelphia Neighborhoods through May.
The Federal Communications Commission will push on telecommunication companies to make the Internet 25 times faster through its National Broadband Plan.
One of the major goals of the unprecedented agenda is to provide broadband access to all Americans. The plan also intends to provide 100 million American homes with 100Mbps (megabits per second) broadband service in 10 years. The current average household Internet connection speed is 4Mbps.
“This is very possible,” said Justin Shi, an associate professor and associate chair at Temple University’s College of Science and Technology. This advancement in communication technology will eventually change social and economic systems, Shi says. The seemingly large feat of increasing Internet speeds by 25 times can be accomplished by improving the current packet-switching system used for the Internet.
Packet-switching refers to information being divided into individual packets before data is transmitted. The packets are individually sent to a desired computer and are reconstructed upon arrival. “There is no limit to the speed upgrades available in packet-switching systems,” Shi says. This is done by adding more machines, like servers, to Internet infrastructure. The more devices being used the faster the connection will be.
ï¿½Packets will always find the shortest route possible, so the more routes the better,ï¿½ Shi says. In order for the FCC to accomplish its goal, the infrastructure needs to be faster. This is because the speed of computer processors has already plateaued, according to Shi. He says that the FCCï¿½s plan is a positive thing. ï¿½Packet-switching is the most economic and stable solution,” he says. “The sky is the limit.”