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The Moon now has internet access

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Image: NASA

Your complaints to BT or Virgin about sluggish broadband speeds might be about to become a little more outlandish, as you can now say your home network is slower than ones on the moon.

An experiment to see if it was possible to send and receive data, wirelessly, using lasers and telescopes has yielded some surprisingly quick internet access on the moon, reports have suggested.

According to Wired, researchers have managed to upload data at nearly 20mbps and download again at a staggering 622mbps which is a factor of 4800 times faster than an RF signal can manage.

What's more, that's actually quite a bit faster than home broadband, at least on the download side. It certainly puts the UK government's 2mbps universal service speeds into perspective.

The system works using four telescopes in New Mexico. These telescopes have lasers attached, each of which is needed because it's something of a hit or miss affair, so having more than one means its more likely one will reach its target. Because the moon is about 400,000km away, and the atmosphere gets in the way only a tiny percentage of the signal gets through, but it's enough.

And as odd as it might sound, if we're ever going to establish bases on the moon and Mars, then we're going to need internet access. How else are you going to keep up with current affairs, and the cat videos?

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