Light-speed internet has become people’s top demand now that more and more people are working and studying at home. We all want to join video calls with zero buffering, or else download our reading materials in a single second. Now, a recent project may push that dream closer to reality.
The World’s Fastest Internet
A research team at University College London managed to reach network speeds of 178 terabits per second or 178,000 Gbps. At those speeds, you just have to blink once, and you’ll download every Netflix show and movie. The researchers teamed up with Xtera and KDDI. About their findings, the team said their speeds are double the fastest network speeds currently in place anywhere in the world.
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) August 20, 2020
How Did the UCL Team Get Those Internet Speeds?
Gizmodo said that the UCL team boosted their signal by using a greater wavelength range than the typical one. They also amplified the signal multiple times. As fiber-optics extend, the signal tends to get absorbed. You need repeaters to stretch it as far as you can. So, the UCL team found a way to extend the signal at a farther distance, then amplify it.
What Does It Mean for the World’s Internet?
Right now, the world’s internet uses a “limited spectrum bandwidth” of 4.5THz. 5G sits on the higher end of that spectrum. With 5G, you can send data at 1 to 3 Gbps, using a 24 GHz bandwidth. However, the UCL study achieved 178,000 Gbps using a 16.8THz bandwidth.
Gizmodo guesses companies could implement the UCL system cheaply. If they can, they would help workers and students cope with the pandemic.