A BRITISH ISP has demonstrated how string can be used to transmit broadband.
The 3.5Mbps download connection which the company describes as 'a bit of fun' was achieved by wetting two metres of string and linking it with crocodile clips. The upload speed isn't great.
Salt water conducts electricity better, so this made it more have and less have knot. More importantly, it's vital that nobody touches the setup - its a bit highly strung.
It's not actually that surprising. Although we all think of broadband as being about fibre optics these days, in reality, most people still get their data through copper wires, (ADSL) so theoretically that means anything is fair game as long as it can carry a current.
Andrews and Arnold, which conducted the experiment is aimed at the home user who has more… nerdy needs. Perhaps a home office, or a lot of infrastructures (or a Hadoop cluster in the garage).
The blog post from the company's Adrian Kennard explains that, theoretically, you could add two tin cans to get VoWS (voice-over wet string) but we suspect that's just a loophole to make a joke.
Additionally, of course, the practicalities of a network of wet string girdling the country is somewhat limited.
But with so many rural areas struggling to get 3.5Mbps then perhaps there's an argument for trying out something a bit radical.
But as for a commercial use of this low-tech solution? A Frayed Not.
Kennard explained to the BBC: "To be honest it was a bit of fun, which one of our techies decided to try out - we have equipment we could test in the office, and why not?"
"What it does show, though, is how adaptive ADSL really is. This can be important when it comes to faulty lines with bad (or even disconnected) joints still providing some level of broadband service."
Tell that to the millions of people on slow connections that still have cause t'wine. µ
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