How do you know if your internet connection is working the way it’s supposed to? For some people, it’s the speed websites load; for others, it’s how fast they can download their e-mail attachments. But the folks at Israel’s Bezeq phone company (and its ISP subsidiary, Bezeq International) have a different criteria – one that seems a bit odd during these days of internet piracy clampdowns.
There were about 8 million people in Israel at the end of 2011. So, according to the folks at Bezeq International and Alcatel-Lucent – which just finished laying a high-speed submarine communications cable between Israel and Italy – each Israeli should now be able to download about 75,000 MP3 files per hour.
Of course, the cable, affectionately called “Jonah,” is much more than a way to scarf free music. According to the press release issued to celebrate the inauguration of the cable, the companies write it “can operate at 100 gigabits-per-second data transmissions to enable data capacity of 7.6 Terabits-per-second(Tbps) between Tel Aviv and Bari, Italy.” Jonah “covers 2,300 kilometers across the Mediterranean, and is intended to address the growing demands of the highly dynamic Israeli telecom market, which shows one of the highest household broadband and mobile penetration rates in the world.”
Clearly, a much needed route to the internet of the outside world, considering how “wired” Israelis are – both at home and at work. And check out Jonah’s capabilities: According to the press release, “This ultimate capacity could allow the simultaneous download of 100,000 MP3 files in one minute and the streaming of 15,000 HDTV channels.” According to the math, that’s 75,000 per Israeli per hour – and quite a lot more for those who like to download music, if we take out of the equation kids under three (by four they’re all internet savvy), anti-internet Hareidim, and people who prefer to listen to internet radio.
Considering that most MP3 downloads come from file-sharing sites – most of which are questionable, if not illegal (I don’t see them spending $100,000 on iTunes downloads!), it would be interesting to know on what they base this statistic!
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