The moon officially has faster broadband speed than rural Ireland

27 May 2014

While large parts of Ireland struggle to reach broadband speeds in comparison with its larger urban areas, MIT and NASA have made it possible to receive just under 20Mbps on the moon.

According to Wired, the two prestigious research organisations have broken records with its new wireless broadband transmission speeds capable of receiving large amounts of data or seamless streaming of video and audio for any future visitors to the moon.

Their laser-powered communication uplink through RF signals was able to achieve the speed of 19.44Mbps download speed, while upload speed came in at 622Mbps which makes it exponentially faster than previous records, 4,800 times faster to be precise.

At approximately 384,633km away from Earth, depending on its rotation around our planet, four laser telescopes beam the data through different column of air which increases the odds of one of the high-powered beams of reaching the moon’s surface largely unaffected by winds and gravitational effects making it to the surface.

Amazingly, of the 40-watt signal sent to the moon, less than one billionth of that will actually reach the surface of Earth’s satellite but, according to Mark Stevens of MIT Lincoln Laboratory, this is all that is necessary to establish a good data connection.

Satellite dish and moon image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic