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UK ISP creates 3.5 Mbps broadband internet connection using wet string

By midian182 ยท 14 replies
Dec 14, 2017
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  1. An experiment that created a 3.5 Mbps broadband internet connection won’t sound very impressive to most of us, especially since the average download speed in the US is about 75 megabits per second. But the surprising part is that it was established using a 6ft 7in piece of wet string.

    While broadband connections tend to rely on wires made of materials such as copper, engineers at a small British internet service provider called Andrews and Arnold wanted to see if it was possible to send data through something less conventional.

    They soaked the long piece of twine in a salt water as it’s a good conductor of electricity, though it had to be re-soaked every half an hour, and used a pair of alligator clips to establish the connection. The upkeep of these wet string connections is very hard; in our tests, we had to continually re-wet the string approximately every 30 minutes to avoid a complete loss of sync, and this process was always disruptive to the signals,” wrote Adrian Kennard, the ISP’s director, in a blog post.

    The entire experiment was just a bit of fun to see if such a thing was possible. And while Kennard said it has no practical applications, it does give an idea of how adaptive asymmetric digital subscriber lines (ADSL) are. “This can be important when it comes to faulty lines with bad (or even disconnected) joints still providing some level of broadband service," he added.

    Prof Jim Al-Khalili from the University of Surrey's department of physics explained to the BBC that the experiment works as the string is acting as a waveguide to transmit an electromagnetic wave. He said that because the broadband signal is a very high frequency, the material used isn’t really important.

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,246   +2,719

    Reminds me of the new Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio, as a super-car made out of crap, only topped by the latest Maserati.

    Only when the cheaper option is comparable with the more expensive one there is point in talking about it. Otherwise, WTH?
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. GreenNova343

    GreenNova343 TS Maniac Posts: 345   +229

    So...are they saying that the old "string telephone" actually works? That's kind of cool...
  4. R00sT3R

    R00sT3R TS Maniac Posts: 125   +244

    Sadly this is faster than many of British Telecom's broadband connections to some of the UK's more remote & rural homes, where people dream of 3.5Mbps...
    Reehahs, Theinsanegamer and Arris like this.
  5. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,085   +1,503

    Well technically no..... but what the heck, Sure they did! ;)
  6. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 3,778   +1,086

    Finally, emerging technology for the last mile is defined!
  7. Zoner1501

    Zoner1501 TS Enthusiast Posts: 55   +18

    Welp its official, a wet string delivers better internet service then my local ISP
    Danny101 and senketsu like this.
  8. ChrisH1

    ChrisH1 TS Addict Posts: 126   +66

    So, a new phrase for my vocabulary - 'The internet's a slow as a piece of wet string today'
    MirekFe, Reachable and Danny101 like this.
  9. Australia's "NEW" National Broadband Network. Happy Days!
    Madmaxneo likes this.
  10. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 591   +578

    Now that's what I call Fibre!
    MirekFe and Madmaxneo like this.
  11. Altikaka

    Altikaka TS Rookie

    Would have been faster without the knot !! :)
  12. JohnnieCanuk

    JohnnieCanuk TS Rookie

    That speed is considered acceptable service from Bell. I have to pay Bell Canada $70 for 3.5mbps. I live 45 minutes from the Canadian Parliament buildings.
  13. serverus14

    serverus14 TS Rookie

    same here in the Philippines :(
  14. Suisam

    Suisam TS Member

    Thats better than 90% of Australian internet speeds
  15. MirekFe

    MirekFe TS Booster Posts: 91   +39

    That's painful. I hope better internet comes to your region, very soon.

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