Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT) have just destroyed the internet speed world record. They managed to send data at an mind-bending 319 terabits per second.
If you already thought your internet connection was slow, this piece of news is not going to make you feel any better about it. In fact, it may make you resent your provider even more than you (presumably) already do.
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For reference, the previous record was just 178 terabits per second. While that’s still obscenely fast data transfer, the new record is nearly double the speed. And to make this new record even more impressive, researchers were able to maintain the 319 terabit speeds over a distance of 3,001km, or close to 1,865 miles.
And you thought the prospect of getting gigabit internet at home was exciting.
Of course, you’re not likely to get these sorts of speeds at home anytime soon. These sorts of speeds require some extensive engineering work first, and the researchers had to rely on a four-core fiber optic cable using a “552 PDM-16QAM, wavelength-division multiplexed channel." Engineers also utilized "erbium and thulium doped-fiber amplifiers and distributed Raman amplification."
The massive increase in speed itself also came about thanks to engineers using S, C, and L band transmissions together for the very first time. Normally these sorts of long-distance transmissions would only use C and L bands, but clearly adding the S band into the mix had its own benefits.
Though I’ll admit, I am no network engineer and very little of the technobabble makes sense to me. However I know enough to point out that this sort of work is rarely easy, and the engineers should definitely be commended for their achievement.
Of course there’s always more work to be done. The team said it believes there’s more speed that can be utilized, and more ways to increase the transmission capacity. On top of that there’s going to be work happening to “extend the range to trans-oceanic distances."
Here’s just hoping that any advancements discovered by this research can be utilized on our own home broadband connections, and soon. Though that may be asking a little too much, given how slow the rollout of regular fiber speeds has been in some places, and indeed nations.