Virgin Media is set to unleash a remarkable breakthrough in internet speeds. Currently they are marketing their fifty megabit broadband, but waiting in the wings is the next generation broadband that will make fifty megabit look like twenty-eight kilobit dial-up.
"We cannot go into too much detail about the technology, except to say it uses quantum entanglement," said Rob Banks, head of communications at Virgin Media. "What we can tell you is the speed, which will be fifty yottabits per second."
A megabit is ten to the power five bits, whilst a yottabit is ten to the power twenty-four bits. this kind of speed increase is hard to visualise, but Banks has an analogy.
"With fifty megabits per second, you can download an entire CD album in under a minute. With fifty yottabits per second, you could download every piece of music ever put onto CD in under a second."
This begs the question of just what people would use such speeds for. With a large enough hard-drive, the entire internet could be downloaded in a day, and there isn't a web page in existence that would see any delay on fifty megabits per second, so there would be no visible improvement at fifty yottabits, especially considering that computers cannot operate at this speed.
Investigation into the claims of quantum entanglement go under the code name Matter Accidentally Gets Instantaneously Communicated, or MAGIC.