Definition - What does Gigabits Per Second (Gbps) mean?
Gigabits per second (Gbps), sometimes abbreviated Gb/s, is a data transfer rate equivalent to one billion bits, or simple binary units, per second. These extremely high-speed rates of data transfer are not currently common, but new research projects have pushed computing capability toward the Gbps range for some technologies.
In order to understand gigabits per second compared to a more common measurement of kilobytes or megabytes per second, it’s necessary to understand that modern data rate measurements are often based on bytes, a unit that contains eight binary bits, rather than single bits. Data storage and data transfer capacities are commonly referenced in terms of bytes, kilobytes, megabytes, etc. To get rates in bits, users must convert measurements accordingly.
In 2010, Google announced a project to offer direct fiber-to-home solutions with speeds of up to one gigabit per second. As of 2012, this is still in development, and is many orders of magnitude faster than what is currently available for consumer use.