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The Current Definition of Fast

Ah, words. A scarce sight on the website nowadays…

As I once again familiarise myself with the written form, downstairs two men in fluorescent jackets are drilling a sizeable hole in my wall (or at least it sounds sizeable) to install the wonders of fibre optic broadband. Soon high speed Internet will gush into my house, and my mouth is curling into a grin at the very thought.

Obviously high speed Internet is nothing new. Though what high speed means has of course changed over the years: I can remember when anything over 56kbps was fast; then the unheard of happened and downloads dropped the k and were measured in Mbps; and now I have more bits per second than I can feasibly know what to do with.

Except I do know; I’ll do what I’ve always done when I’ve had an upgrade and that’s download something unfeasibly large for the mere sake of doing so. And it will probably from Steam.

Up until this point I have honestly been put off from downloading the larger multi-gigabyte games from various online platform holders simply because of the sheer time that it takes. Downloading the comparatively small 4GB of Tokyo Jungle took the best part of a working day, and the thought of not only the wait but tying up my connection for such a long period of time has discouraged my switch to digital. So given the prospect of downloading a whole Blu-ray’s worth of data, naturally I’d shy away.

For me the continued shift to unboxed is a relatively welcome one. Whilst I do still have Halo 3’s cat-helmet sat in my office, a loft of unloved CD cases says that I’m not precious of the physical medium. The thought of streaming or just waiting half an hour for an otherwise boxed game to come down the pipe – quite comparable to some of the more meaty PS3 installs – is extremely tempting. Though this may be the spouting of marketing executives trying to assure you the future is just around the corner, as I now see my speed max out at 78Mbps I realise it may just be here.

Five years ago, when Xbox first launched their market place, I waited overnight to download and watch the first Harry Potter film in HD. Now, I’m streaming the same thing.

Do excuse me; I’m off to gaze lovingly at my bitrate.

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