Moving Petabytes

[via Thejo] Jonathan Schwartz writes:

It [is] faster to send a petabyte of data from San Francisco to Hong Kong by sailboat, than by the internet.

A petabyte is a thousand terabytes, which is a million gigabytes, or a billion megabytes. Or 8 billion megabits. With me so far?

So if you had a half megabit per second internet connection, which is relatively high in the US (relatively low compared to residential bandwidth available in, say, Korea), it’d take you 16 billion seconds, or 266 million minutes, or 507 years to transmit the data. Can you sail to Hong Kong faster than that? At a full megabit, just divide the time in half. Even at a hundred megabits (about the highest, generally available, of any carrier I’ve seen), it’s a few years.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.