banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

Since the United States is lagging behind in network infrastructure and broadband connectivity, it is time to raise the bar to terabit speeds when it comes to setting the standard for network backbones.

In a BBC News article today, they talk about the joint 255-mile test of Alcatel-Lucent’s and British Telecom’s broadband capabilities. The test for a transmission of 1.4 Tbps (Terabits per second) was successfully achieved.
See article – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25840502

This breakthrough should be amplified in the Press like a new Kardashian marriage or a Justin Bieber DUI. It’s THAT important.


Terabit speed? It is a lot faster than Gigabit speeds. It is 1,024 times faster than 1 Gigabit speeds and 1 Gigabit is 1,024 times faster than 1 Megabit speeds.

To give you an idea of how fast that is, take a 90-minute video (about one gigabyte of storage) and see how long it takes to download from one a storage location to your desktop. If you are running with a DSL line (1.5Mbps – 1.5 Megabits per second), it would take almost 16 hours. With a fiber optic line going at 1 Gbps (1 Gigabit per second) it would take just under 10 seconds (about 8.5 seconds). With a 10 Gbps speed, it would take under a second. With 1 Tbps speed, you could download 44 uncompressed HD movies in a second.

So who needs this type of speed? As more people have Smartphones and they are looking at streaming video applications that need to move gigabytes of storage, having a backbone that can run at a terabit speed is great. If you can run a terabit on the fiber optic-based network infrastructure that is currently in place, we can upgrade the entire network with just the additional hardware. Getting one or two gigabit speeds down to the end-user’s tablet or Smartphone would be easy.

This is the new goal that ALL carriers should adopt now and not five-to-ten years from now. In order to become more competitive, we need a network infrastructure that can carry the demands of the consumer as well as the sophisticated corporate networks.

ALL regional economic development commissions should also understand this and not be swayed by those touting obsolete guidelines and network objectives.

We need to set the right goals and not cling to goals that sound good, but are really obsolete.


How many NFL stadiums were under-engineered when they put in WiFi and DAS networks to handle mass Smartphone traffic? The supposedly “expert” engineers from various communications companies got it wrong and had to add more network infrastructure the next year in order to catch up to the real traffic being generated.

What about various regions that do not have enough in place network infrastructure to attract new corporate facilities? Politicians talk about “regional economic development” and “job creation” but do they really know that broadband connectivity is a major factor?

Think of it this way. Those who offer:

Megabit speeds – They are still playing with Victrolas.

Gigabit speeds – They are still playing with Eight-track tapes.

Terabit speeds – They are current and need to keep their sights set on emerging technology that will make Terabit speeds obsolete.

So ask yourself, where are you when it comes to understanding the needs for a state-of-the-art network infrastructure that can support your local economic development goals.

Do you have any detailed plan in place? If none, you are behind those in the Victrola stage. Still dancing to minuets from a harpsichord?

If you have a plan, but it talks about implementing megabit speeds, you must still be cranking up the Victrola to sing along with Al Jolson.

If you think you are real hip because you are talking about gigabit speeds for your community and region, guess again. You are just trying to justify an eight-track system, so you can listen to Frank Zappa and the Carpenters.

Terabit speeds as a base speed for a backbone network. That is where you should be today in the planning stages. If not, better change the music as well as the Nehru jacket you are still wearing because you are not in touch with the times.

Carlini’s book, Location, Location, Connectivity that discusses more of these concepts will be available later this year.

CARLINI-ISM: Don’t have the latest broadband connectivity? If you are not talking terabit speeds, you are not talking about upgrading to what will be needed in the near future.

COPYRIGHT 2014 – James Carlini



  1. JW
    Having this as a new goal – Raising the bar to Terabit speeds – at least for ALL backbones would get the US back into a leading-edge mode. Too many incumbent phone companies want to squeeze out the last pennies in their copper-based infrastructure and we should be moving forward.

  2. Internet speed is no joke. Many may say that the Internet is more that fast enough. You would be right if you are retrieving emails and Googling her and there, but many of us are doing more and more on the Internet every day.

    So much is said about download speeds and I love the fastest I can get, but at 500 to 750KB upload speeds it is almost impossible to use the cloud with any efficiency. I want to send my videos to Youtube and not wait hours or backup my files to my cloud drives, but it can take forever and slow down your computer as you wait for an upload that may not complete.

    Digital video and audio cannot be compressed by too much more and so faster speeds will be necessary.

    If the infrastructure needs a restructure this sounds like more jobs to me? The economy needs jobs to grow and prosper and add the Internet to bridges and roads and we have a lot of employment….

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