Internet access in the 21st century has become a luxury many millions take full advantage of on a daily basis. Connecting regions from around the world, it's a technology that's taken for granted but we could well see access be extended beyond Earth itself – a group of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have worked with NASA to bring broadband to our closest neighbor.
Utilizing four laser beams and high-speed fiber optics, the teams have managed to achieve average speeds of 19.44 Mbps (peaking at 622 Mbps), which is actually faster than what many consumers are able to enjoy here on Earth. Taking the UK as an example, where communications regulator Ofcom calculates the average broadband speed to be just short of 18 Mbps, rarely hitting 12 Mbps in rural areas.
NASA is expected to present findings and further explain the technology next month, which includes beaming lasers at an orbiting satellite. Moves such as this could also open up further opportunities with more advanced communications beyond the Moon and into deep space.
Could you imagine taking a commercial flight to the Moon with on-board Wi-Fi to then be able to Skype with relatives back on Earth? Let us know your thoughts on the development in the comments.