This summer, the IEEE ratified IEEE 802.3ba, which sets down the technical guidelines for 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) and 100GigE Ethernet. Now, companies and organizations are beginning to deploy these faster than fast optical Internet backbones.
Internet2, the consortium for ultra-high speed Internet for research and education institutions, has announced that it will begin deployment of a new, nationwide 100 GigE network. The group expects to complete deployment of this new network in 2013.
100GigE Internet backbones aren't just for researchers and academics though. Verizon has announced that before year's end it will deploy 100GigE for part of its European IP backbone. Verizon will deploy this network from Paris to Frankfurt.
Verizon will be doing this with Juniper Networks routers and Ciena's ActivFlex 6500 Packet-Optical Platform. Don't think you need that kind of speed? I'd disagree. As Philippe Morin, senior vice president of Ciena's global products group said in a statement "The need for ultra-high capacity and increased performance in networks continues to accelerate as end-user demand for cloud services, video and 4G and LTE ramp."
Now, of course, you're not going to get 100GigE to your small business or house. But when every increasing demand from consumers for more and more bandwidth for Netflix and other Internet video content, we're going to need all the bandwidth we can get on our Internet backbones. Terabit Ethernet anyone?
That last line isn't funny by the way. Facebook engineer Donn Lee told the Ethernet Alliance's Technology Exploration Forum last February that there is already "a need for 100-Gigabit Ethernet and where we're going for our upgrades, there is already a need for 1 Terabit."