In the movie "Iron Man 3," the titular hero struggles in what appears to be a rinky-dink backwater town to find an Internet connection fast enough and big enough to crunch data to find the terrorist villain. The town looks to be Nowhere, U.S.A., but we're told, it is actually Chattanooga, Tenn.
Known to some as "Gig City," the real Chattanooga would have posed less of a problem for Tony Stark's heroic data-analyzing needs. The modest city of half a million has more than 150,000 homes wired for affordable Gigabit Ethernet.
But the coming world of extremely fast Internet connections is driving more than summer movie plot points. Widespread Gigabit Ethernet of the kind that Google Fiber, Verizon FiOS, and others companies are investing in, and is in varying stages of implementation in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah, will eventually revolutionize the current upper bounds of data transfer.
At its simplest, said Will Barkis, the Gigabit developer evangelist and project leader on Mozilla's Ignite developer's challenge, widespread Gigabit Ethernet will speed up everything we do, from improving health care to enhancing manufacturing to optimizing public transportation.
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