The answer is… yes. This conundrum is really interesting, if you want to send a few-hundred gigabytes of data across the globe it’s generally quicker to send a hard-disk than transfer it across the net. But to what extent does FedEx’s capacity extend, and will the internet ever be able to facilitate a higher data rate than a global courier?
Cisco estimates that total internet traffic currently averages 167 terabits per second. FedEx has a fleet of 654 aircraft with a lift capacity of 26.5 million pounds daily. A solid-state laptop drive weighs about 78 grams and can hold up to a terabyte.
That means FedEx is capable of transferring 150 exabytes of data per day, or 14 petabits per second—almost a hundred times the current throughput of the internet.
That’s pretty neat. The same website, what if? also eludes that the year that global internet bandwidth will surpass FedEx is 2040. The issue is that the speed and size of external storage devices by this time will have also increased meaning that FedEx may always be a better option. [what-if]