The Internet: Whats the Fuss?


The speed of the Internet is measured in bits. Bits can travel the same speed as light. That means information could travel from one place to another 186,000 miles per second. That is extremely fast. However, there are slow downs and hold ups along the way that makes that speed impossible with the current technology.

One limitation is the old phone line system. This system of sending data was never made to handle so much traffic nor was it made to send video, data, or pictures across it. However, much work is being done that has steadily increased the speed at which Internet can transfer data.

When modems were first introduced they could transfer data at speeds of only 300 bps (bits per second). Then came 1200 bps. After that 2400 and 9600 bps were the norm. In the past few years, speeds of 14,400 and 28,800 bps have taken over. Just recently new advancements have made it possible for phone lines and modems to handle 56,000 bps. With a better modems and fiber optics being installed, speeds should continue to get even faster in the furture.

Some of the dedicated ISDN and other telecommunication lines can carry data at even faster rates then the above mentioned speeds. However, these lines are normally reserved for large companies due to the steep cost.