Techies at UK ISP Andrews & Arnold have demonstrated that ADSL broadband can work over a wet string.
An inquisitive engineer at the company this week decided to test whether wet string could work in place of twisted-pair copper for an ADSL connection.
Using a two-meter (6ft 7in) length of wet string, the engineer was able to reach a downlink speed of 3.5Mbps, which is slow by today's standards but way faster than yesteryear's dial-up internet speeds, albeit over a short distance.
While the test was just a "fun" experiment, the engineer was testing a figure of speech probably only heard among network engineers. As the ISP's boss explains in a blogpost, one of ADSL's main qualities is that can adapt to function on a really poor line -- so bad that it's been said it will even work on a bit of wet string.
The 'fiber' connection test failed using fresh water, but a second try with salty water did the trick thanks to salt's better conductive properties.
The ISP techie behind the test described the experiment in a string of tweets yesterday. A pair of two-meter lengths of string were dunked into salty water and then connected side by side between two routers.