Is Shoreditch really to get the worlds fastest Internet?
It would be nice if the headline "World's fastest internet will send Britannica to Shoreditch in 7 sec" that The Times published online on 6th March 2006 were to come true. The Shoreditch, Digital Bridge project was mentioned in our news in January 2005. It would seem the project is a lot closer to having live and real people using it, visit www.digitalbridge.org.uk for more information on the project.
The article that The Times has published seems to carry little resemblance to what you can read about the DigitalBridge project. The site clearly states 8Mbps as an access speed for both the PC on TV service and more generic PC connectivity. 8Mbps seems a long way removed from the 2000Mbps suggested by The Times. Reading more background suggests though that the PC on TV service, may actually be a server/thin client model, with the server located in Telehouse, and the connectivity for the service at that location is 2Gbps, what you would see on your TV is essentially a rapidly updating screenshot of a PC located in Telehouse. By leveraging PC style access onto the TV screen you can tackle the issues of people not having the money to buy a PC, though how useful a standard PC desktop is on what maybe a fairly old TV is another matter.
So at the end of the day, it seems the project is more to do with digital inclusion, and ensuring that segments of the UK population that normally cannot afford Internet access or even an old PC will have some level of connectivity. The utopian dreams raised by the press of fibre optic speeds and downloading the world in a few seconds seem to be just that at present. If the Digital Bridge project is really going to bring people speeds of 2Gbps into their home and be available for things like downloads, gaming, streaming content then we would be delighted to pay the project a visit and report on how it is going to be done.