Broadband Is So Slow Amazon's Import/Export Service Sends Data Using the Post Office

How crappy is the current state of broadband? Amazon Web Services' new Import/Export data delivery moves files using the postal service because broadband is too slow.

To move a metric crapload of data, you load it on a supported storage device—preferably with an eSATA interface—ship it to Amazon, and they upload it directly to Amazon Web Services. It might seem crazy, but consider that moving one terabyte of data over a 10Mbps broadband connection, which is sadly fairly speedy in the US, would take over 13 days. Even a 100Mbps connection would take a couple of days to ram at through in good conditions. So when it comes to large amounts of data, Fedex is faster than fiber.

It's not a new idea—sneakernets have been around forever to move large files—but it's interesting coming from Amazon, whose S3 cloud service powers a ton of websites. And kind of sobering. [Amazon, Amazon via Gigaom]