A year ago this week, Chinese physicists launched the world’s first quantum satellite. Unlike the dishes that deliver your Howard Stern and cricket tournaments, this 1,400-pound behemoth doesn’t beam radio waves. Instead, the physicists designed it to send and receive bits of information encoded in delicate photons of infrared light. It’s a test of a budding technology known as quantum communications, which experts say could be far more secure than any existing info relay system.
Google Fiber is getting a lot smaller. Alphabet is sending hundreds of employees at Access—the division that runs the high-speed internet service—to work at other parts of the company, an Access spokeswoman says. It’s not the end of Fiber, not exactly. But the slimming-down likely signals a future for Alphabet’s broadband ambitions that involves less fiber.
SpaceX has detailed ambitious plans to bring fast Internet access to the entire world with a new satellite system that offers greater speeds and lower latency than existing satellite networks.
A new Ethernet standard that allows for up to 2.5Gbps over normal Cat 5e cables (the ones you probably have in your house) has been approved by the IEEE. The standard—formally known as IEEE 802.3bz-2016, 2.5G/5GBASE-T, or just 2.5 and 5 Gigabit Ethernet—also allows for up to 5Gbps over Cat 6 cabling.
IPv4 address exhaustion is making it harder to measure the size of the Internet, even as IPv6 deployment accelerates.
While IPv6 activity doubled in 2015 (to 400 million addresses by year-end), the vast majority of users are still on IPv4 addresses, mostly via dynamic assignment or behind carrier-grade Network Address Translation (NAT) boxes.