A few weeks ago, we were contacted by the broadband team at Comcast asking if we could help them with a demo they were working on for the Cable show in Chicago. Their plan was to perform a live demonstration of their new Gbps broadband connection by downloading the entire 5th season of 30 Rock (23 episodes) in a minute and a half. Attempts to download content at these speeds with traditional file transfer methods weren't yielding results that could showcase the link's true potential. When attempting to download at Gbps speeds with TCP-based protocols (like FTP, SFTP and HTTP), even small amounts of network latency degraded transfer speed significantly. With less than 10ms of latency over the link, and even after tuning TCP for high speed, it was still taking about 3 minutes to download all the data.
After a recommendation from a partner already using FileCatalyst technology, Comcast contacted us to see if we could help. After only a couple of days and very little tuning, they were able to use our API to build a slick download application that hit near full speed on their Gbps link, downloading the entire season in about a minute and a half. Although further tuning could have made this transfer even faster, time constraints meant the demo had to be locked down. This didn't matter to the crowd of about 2000 people at the McCormick Center who watched in awe as the files downloaded about 100 times faster than possible using their existing home broadband connection.
See the full story here: http://gigaom.com/broadband/comcast-shows-off-1-gbps-broadband/