The fastest Internet network in the U.S. has become a little faster; the ESnet network has been upgraded to ESnet6 and now its capacity has grown to 46 terabit per second; now it only works for scientists.
The very first version of ESnet was created in 1986 to connect scientists from various U.S. Department of Energy laboratories. The network allowed them to exchange huge amounts of raw data quickly. Over the past decades, the ESnet has been updated many times to keep pace with technological advances and to transmit huge amounts of data from scientific experiments. In 2021, 1.1 exabytes of data were transmitted online.
ESnet6 consists of 24,000 km of dedicated fibre-optic cables that extend throughout the country and provide the backbone channels of the network. Each transmits data at a rate of between 400 gigabits per second and 1 Tbit/s. This was already the fastest Internet network in the world, but now it has strengthened its leadership with a capacity of 46 Tbit/s.
However, this is not the record rate of data transmission; this honour belongs to the experimental installation in Japan, which has reached an incredible speed of 1 petabit per second or 1,000 Tbit/s.
By comparison, a regular user can afford several hundred megabits per second, while ESnet6 is equivalent to 46 million Mbits/s. A fiber-optic connection at 10 Gbit/s is the highest Internet speed available to consumers. In this case, the advantage of ESnet6 is 46,000 times.