The Moon officially has faster internet than the UK

We’ve all had bad experiences with internet connectivity especially when we’re outside of big cities. Well, one solution that might just get the job done is to move even further away from big cities – like the Moon.

A group of researchers from MIT, working together with NASA, have managed to bring broadband to Earth’s nearest neighbor. The connection, which uses four different laser beams and fiber optics, managed to average speeds of 19.44 Mbps.

Here’s the kicker though: British communications regulator Ofcom reckons the average broadband internet speed in the UK is just shy of 18 Mbps and barely reaches 12 Mbps in rural areas. Yes, that means exactly what you think it means: you can get better internet on the Moon than in some parts of the United Kingdom.

Oh and by the way the signal to the moon also managed to top 622 Mbps when sending data one way. That’s 4800 times better than the previous record set using radio waves. NASA will announce these advances and better explain the technology behind them at a conference in early June.

Now let’s just hope someone from BT will tune in and maybe learn something.

Source: BetaNews; Wired | Keyboard with British flag image via Shutterstock

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62 Comments

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Clearly all the non cable users on here claiming it's only major cities that get the speeds mentioned need to get out more because they're talking a load of bs.

KC, is a monopoly in Hull, and the average is 3 meg for DSL. I say monopoly as it is, in all but name. How?. Charge silly amounts for others, you have a monopoly, without being one. I would drop KC in a heartbeat, but there is no competition.

Money spent on this stupid project might as well be spent on giving Britain internet. Even better do something about starvation

Eh, that's no big deal. When did anyone own their first digital camera? LATE 90s at best? Voyager and Pioneer spacecraft (to name a couple) had state of the art digital cameras on board. You can't exactly ship the film from deep space.

It'd be different if the Moon had internet and the UK didn't... :p

they just started offering 50,000 down 10,000 Kbit/s up here so over standard 2 wire copper using vecotoring DSL with no usage caps Plus unlimited land line and country wide mobile for 29.99 euro here in Germany with 1&1. min speed 18,000 Kbit/s including a NEW AC/N/G/B WIFI capable router Fritzbox: DETC, ISDN, POTS x2 telephone capability (including SIP), 2x USB 3.0 ports, 4 gig ether ports at a one time 49 Euro extra cost.

Edited by eXtermia, May 29 2014, 11:15am :

That's cool and all, but what about competition there? Will whoever's internet that is there be the only one allowed. Without competition, we all know they will rob you blind! ;)

British communications regulator Ofcom reckons the average broadband internet speed in the UK is just shy of 18 Mbps and barely reaches 12 Mbps in rural areas.

You've got to be joking. I've lived in different places around the UK, and I've never even had 12 mbps. The best I can get now is 4mbps, and that's not even in a rural area. Unless you live in a major city, or next to an exchange, you're SOOL.

The statistics themselves are skewed because clearly more people live in cities so the distribution will heavily favour those areas.

Wait what? The average is 18 Mbps? Never in my life have I lived anywhere in the UK where my speed is more than 2. I doubt that is the average in reality. It's probably just London bumping it up.

Meph said,
Wait what? The average is 18 Mbps? Never in my life have I lived anywhere in the UK where my speed is more than 2. I doubt that is the average in reality. It's probably just London bumping it up.

All virgin customers can get 150Mbps so the average is based on all these customers and the lower end and all the FTTC customers that get upto 70Mbps. Seriously the number of people that cant get at least FTTC or Virgin is smaller than you think.

I get 150 Mbps from Virgin and its solid, 15Mbps up as well. That with good TV package and Tivo box and phone with unlimited calls is £60 a month.

"Fibre-optics in the UK

In the UK optical fibre is not available everywhere, and is mostly on offer in urban areas.

Virgin Media provides approximately 12.6 million UK homes with fibre-optic cable access and offers speeds of up to 152Mbps. "

http://www.uswitch.com/broadba...ides/fibre_optic_broadband/

That doesn't include FTTC, just virgin cable. I know its not a vast majority but all those can get 150Mbps connection.

BT is very active in deploying FTTC as well, so I'd say that the average reported maybe out of date somewhat.

duddit2 said,

All virgin customers can get 150Mbps so the average is based on all these customers and the lower end and all the FTTC customers that get upto 70Mbps. Seriously the number of people that cant get at least FTTC or Virgin is smaller than you think.

I get 150 Mbps from Virgin and its solid, 15Mbps up as well. That with good TV package and Tivo box and phone with unlimited calls is £60 a month.


This is true. I didn't consider Virgin. In August though, I'll be looking forward to upgrading to FTTC myself.

duddit2 said,
the number of people that cant get at least FTTC or Virgin is smaller than you think.

If you're not in a cabled area you only have the possibility of FTTC. Apart from new build, there has been no expansion of the cable network since before the turn of the century.

well aware of this, but its still over 12 million homes and then you have the FTTC rollout.

I did make it clear I knew this, did you simply not read?

Meph said,
Wait what? The average is 18 Mbps? Never in my life have I lived anywhere in the UK where my speed is more than 2. I doubt that is the average in reality. It's probably just London bumping it up.

Same experience for me. The best I've ever had is 4, and that's on off-peak times. Those numbers only apply to major cities.

BT have committed £2.5 billion to invest in the technology which will allow them to reach two thirds of the country by the end of 2014.

At the end of 2012 it was just under half. This is not the same half as the virgin rollout - there is some overlap sure but with virgin reaching half of the population and BT FTTC to reach 2/3 of the population we can expect that more than 2/3 will have access to at least 30Mbps broadband access by the end of this year.

Sure rural areas will see issues for a long time as there simply isn't the economic justification to deploy fibre to these areas of low population BUT I think it will happen eventually - it may require an investment from the government but it will happen.

duddit2 said,
So that's makes half of the population able to connect to the internet at 150Mbps - and that doesn't count FTTC that goes upto 70Mbps.

As I said I'd surprised the average is so low.


A lot of it is to do with is the price and the faffing involved with setting it up. In my grandparents' house, they haven't got it because they don't see why they need faster speeds (I certainly wouldn't have a problem with them getting it!).

Meph said,

A lot of it is to do with is the price and the faffing involved with setting it up. In my grandparents' house, they haven't got it because they don't see why they need faster speeds (I certainly wouldn't have a problem with them getting it!).

I appreciate that totally, but surely figures showing average internet speeds should be based on what's available to homes not what the people choose to get?

duddit2 said,

I appreciate that totally, but surely figures showing average internet speeds should be based on what's available to homes not what the people choose to get?


A statistic like that would be theoretical.

Meph said,
Wait what? The average is 18 Mbps? Never in my life have I lived anywhere in the UK where my speed is more than 2. I doubt that is the average in reality. It's probably just London bumping it up.
I had faster than 30Mb when I lived in a small town in Cornwall. At the moment I live up north and can get 80Mb. Most places have fibre or Virgin.

It's really not just London bumping it up.

Let me anger everyone: I have a 100 Mbps connection for < 10 pounds/month. I can get a 1Gbps connection for only 4 pounds more. And those speeds are consistent, averaging at 80% of the advertised speed. Not in the UK though.

I'd just be happy with the supposed average rural 12mpbs, never had anything near that. I don't know how they arrived at those figures, but I can assure you it's not the average from my experience.

I feel very lucky as moved into a new house where BT had done a deal with the builder to put fibre FTTP. Still not as fast as my 1gbps work connection though lol

Well, I'm way under at @10Mbps, would be on fibre if BT hadn't of enabled the exchange and then completely ignored the cabinet I'm connected to.

Still, I'm lucky, my brother in Scotland gets 0.5 - 1 Mbps on a good day...

Come to think of it, I don't know a single person that is over the average.

77.37 Mbps London UK
Just need FTTP in my area my cabinet is out side my house or BT to life the restrictions on the speed as ive seen it hit 150Mbps with ease then the DLM kicks in and back to normal speeds but there is a bit of variance I've noticed Steam I hit 90Mbps or a bit more Origin I hit 100Mbps and Uplay I get same as origin.

ngc891 said,
0.75 - 1Mbps, Leeds, UK.
Sadly the commute from the moon to work makes moving there cost prohibitive.

Yep, I'm pressure sure those figures in the article must come from London only. Up north we don't anything like that.

1 second - that's how long light takes to get there. So it would probably be like 2 seconds for the back and forth. Sure you can't play CoD but you can at least stream everything on Netflix.

Actually it's roughly 1.3 seconds each way. Considering all the lines you have to get through once on Earth, you're looking at a MINIMUM ping of 2.7 seconds.

No extraterrestrial FPS playing. :p

Voice of Buddy Christ said,
Actually it's roughly 1.3 seconds each way. Considering all the lines you have to get through once on Earth, you're looking at a MINIMUM ping of 2.7 seconds.

No extraterrestrial FPS playing. :p

No need for lunar service, that can be experienced in the UK if/when BT make a routing ballsup.

elenarie said,
Where do you get the internet from, Mars?

Of course. That's where all the super top secret sites are based.

Not very, just to put this in perspective, this is the only link at 19.44Mbps so any more users on the moon and that divides and divides. The same concept, if used here. Then keep in mind the FTTC connections used to connect exchanges to core networks are usually aggregated 10Gbps lines.

BT Exchanges are usually small run-down places which simply can't fit the kit in to accommodate FTTC. BT usually just invest in the places which dramatically bring up their averages in the area.

Great comparison,, so 1 part of the moon, might get faster speeds than SOME parts of the UK?. I suppose the opposite is also true, but not such a good headline, i.e. "1 part of the UK gets better speeds than everywhere on the moon combined"!!