That depends, to be honest, on which Internet you are talking about. For most of us mere mortals the answer will vary, depending upon how fat the pipe connecting us to the Internet is and how many people are downloading video streams over it at any given moment in time. For the uber-users at the University of Tokyo with access to the second generation, university and researcher feeding Internet2 there are no such constraints.

Which is why they have managed to break the Internet2 Land Speed Record (I2-LSR) in both IPv6 and IPv4 categories, as announced by Internet2 this week. The I2-LSR is an open and ongoing competition for the highest bandwidth end-to-end networks, representing the fastest rate at which data is transferred multiplied by the distance it travels.

So just how fast did the Tokyo team data go? Well as far as IPv4 is concerned, the team managed 264,147 terabit-meters per second, transferring 2.98 terabytes of data across 30,000 kilometers of network in 45 minutes at an average rate of 8.80 gigabytes per second. Things got hotter when it came to IPv6 as you might expect, seeing 272,400 terabit-meters per second, transferring 585 gigabytes of data across 30,000 kilometers of network in 30 minutes at an average of 9.08 gigabits per second. Those 30,000 kilometers crossed no less than 6 international networks, or 75% of the circumference of the Earth.

Kei Hiraki, professor at the University of Tokyo and LSR team leader said, "These records are final for the 10Gbps network era because they represent more than 98% of the upper limit of network capacity. Through collaboration by a number of institutions, we have demonstrated the ability to overcome the distance and achieve this newest mark."

Meanwhile, back on Planet Real World, I am still waiting for a 100Mb piece of software to arrive, courtesy of my 2Mbps broadband connection, some 40 minutes after starting the downloading process…

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

now i know why i have to wait for 5 hours just to download an attachment file in a 128 kbps connection.