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German ISP delivers 4.7Gbps download speed in field test


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Germany's largest cable operator today said it has delivered download speeds of 4.7Gbps in a field test that blows away the 300Mbps FiOS speeds Verizon has been crowing about.

But, of course, Verizon's speeds will be available to real-world users (in the limited number of communities FiOS is deployed in). Kabel Deutschland (KD), the German ISP, delivers up to 100Mbps to its customers today, but said the 4.7Gbps field test in the city of Schwerin is an attempt to future-proof its network. The test required channel bundling techniques and 12 modems, so the actual speed may be "only" 392Mbps per modem.

"The Schwerin field test shows that an 862MHz upgraded cable network is able to broadcast download speeds of up to 4.7Gbps," the company said in its announcement. "Using this speed, a DVD could theoretically be downloaded within eight seconds. Current standard laptops or modems cannot even process these high speeds. It will take many more years until users find online services and web content that need a download speed of up to 4.7Gbps."

The field test was conducted in a school using "already available standards, technologies, and hardware," including the EuroDocsis 3.0 standard, a dozen cable modems, and a cable modem termination system from the networking vendor, Arris, KD said. While the company claimed to be "the first cable operator in the world" to hit 4.7Gbps in a field test, the news site ISPreview notes that speeds of 40Gbps were deployed in a home in Sweden in 2007. While these numbers are jaw-dropping, plenty of us are still doing just fine with about 20Mbps.

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