Israel is often referred to as “Startup Nation,” thanks to its long history of high-tech breakthroughs produced by scrappy little companies. But in one critical area, the speed of Internet connections, Israel has fallen behind other tech-savvy countries.
In the coming months, Israel’s state-owned electric company hopes to change this by rolling out a nationwide, high-speed broadband network. Exploiting the small size of the densely populated country, the effort aims to put Israel at the forefront of the next generation of Internet technology.
Experts say the fiber-optic lines can provide connections of 10 to 100 times current speeds, transforming the way the Internet is used in such areas as entertainment, business and health care.
“All the developing countries that have a vision for 10 years ahead, or 20 years ahead, understand that the name of the game will be communications, broadband communications, very fast communications,” said Tzvi Harpak, the electric company’s senior vice president for logistics.
The technology is known as “fiber to the home,” or FTTH. Using fiber optic lines, it can provide connection speeds of 100 megabits to a blazing 1 gigabit per second. Today, the typical broadband user in the developed world connects at five to 10 megabits using older cable and DSL connections.