by Graham Pierrepoint
2017 has been host to some truly bizarre stories – mainly regarding the evolving world of technology and what our favorite politicians are up to – and it seems that some of the weirdest stories in the world are still rolling in even when 2018 is just around the corner. Consider the world we lived in just ten years ago – when broadband connections were just about emerging from their status as a luxury to aspire to – and look around you today. You can get superfast internet access just about everywhere you look! From cafés to bars and from malls to schools and even hospitals, you can now surf the web and make purchases online at a superfast rate that was only ever preserved for commercial need a fair few years ago. How far we have come, indeed!
Recent news regarding an odd internet connectivity experiment will also bring thoughts of childhood days spent communicating with each other via yogurt pots and lengths of string – as it appears that a broadband connection can now travel through something as basic and as unappealing as a wet piece of rope. No, we’re not joking – someone’s gone to the effort of making sure that such an experiment actually works.
The researchers in question are Andrews and Arnold, an internet provider – and they’ve found that they are able to transfer data at a rate of 3.5Mbps across a piece of string dunked in salt water. Measuring at around two metres, the string was plugged into and clipped onto a router to provide wired access – at a rate which is, by today’s standards, considered very slow indeed in most countries. Again, a decade or so back, this wouldn’t be sniffed at – and the office experiment carried out here just goes to show how far we’ve come.
“There is no commercial potential that we are aware of,” advised Adrian Kennard, Andrews and Arnold’s director. “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?”
The bizarre experiment caught the eye of various outlets such as the BBC – but it bears saying that it is perhaps best we don’t try this one at home – leave it up to the experts! Let’s enjoy the high speed internet we currently get without the need for wetting bits of string!