A group of Japanese researchers has broken the internet speed record - twice in two days.

Data was sent at 7.67Gbit/s over the high-speed Internet2 network using standard communications protocols on 30 December last year. The following day, the University of Tokyo researchers sent data over the same 20,000-mile path at 9.08Gbit/s, the Internet2 consortium announced yesterday.

Internet speed records have to improve by 10 per cent to be recognised. This means that the next record would break the 10Gbit/s barrier.

The Internet2 consortium of more than 200 US universities plans to build a network with a capacity of 100Gbit/s. Using such speeds you could download a (legal) high-quality version of The Matrix in a few seconds. On a typical broadband connection it would take two days to download the same movie.

The new internet speed record set back in December was achieved using an internet addressing system called IPv6.

Data was sent from Tokyo to Chicago, Amsterdam and Seattle, and then back to Tokyo again. The previous record of 6.96Gbit/s was set in November 2005.