First sample this from Yahoo write up:
To make video transmission and personal interaction so immediate that the remoteness of the participants is erased, you need lots and lots of bandwidth. Bandwidth is the speed at which information — text, pictures, video, and other data — is carried over the Internet. You can visualize the now-vanishing dial-up Internet, with modem speeds of up to 56 Kbps, as a leisurely country lane. Broadband Internet, such as DSL or cable (1 to 5 Mbps), might be a regular street that you travel to get to work.
But the next generation of the Internet, with bandwidth starting between 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps and climbing from there, is a superhighway. (Part of this is already a reality in South Korea/ Japan).
Much of the research is based around Internet2′s high-performance backbone, called Abilene, that currently runs at up to 10 Gbps. But Internet2 is planning to upgrade Abilene to 80 separate channels of 10 Gbps each, using different wavelengths transmitted over fiber-optic cable. These channels could produce a mind-boggling 800 Gbps of bandwidth.
(More on Abiline here)
What could you do with this kind of 800 gbps bandwidth?
You could send high-definition video uncompressed to heighten it to a hyper-realistic level; use multichannel digital sound; display real-time-generated 3D graphics; control remote devices with no latency; or harness separate, powerful computing facilities into one mammoth virtual machine.
(Part of the reason for the development was fuelled by CERN, the world’s largest particle physics labortary. The amout of information it generates is mind boggling. Sharing it over conventional networks is out of question. Hence, the super fast networks hooked on to super computers, working on Linux. What else can power those monsters)?
Further uses of Internet 2 have been described for underwater explorations and telesurgeries; with almost no latency and everything happening in “real time”;we are close to something that was stuff of science fiction couple of years back.
At present, the project is limited to the Universities and is plagued by last mile access hassles for mass scale adoption. This last mile won’t be solved minus heavy investments; something that is not flowing in the sector at the moment.
Hence, it becomes imperative that the Universities/ Research Institutions in India to become early adopters for this kind of technology. The Government could scale up investments for tele conferencing et al.
However, the standards are not yet defined. Plus, it remains an overwhelming American “contribution”. Therefore, they would definitely impose their standards which would be restrictive for use in other countries. The next gen broadband, by whatever means, is plagued by proprietary standards; unless of course, it becomes Open Access/ Open Source. I don’t see this happening as yet.