The internet speed obtained is an absolute world record. 1 million times faster than current broadband.
A research team in Australia has reached the world record for internet speed: 44,2 terabits per second. A speed that allows, so to speak, to download 1.000 HD movies in a single second.
Researchers from the universities of Monash, Swinburne and RMIT used a "micro-comb" optical chip containing hundreds of infrared lasers to transfer data across Melbourne's existing communications infrastructure.
The previous record is recent. It belonged to a Japanese team, which last April was able to make the signal travel even faster (172 terabits per second). In that case, 3 fiber cables were used (instead of one, as in this case) and for a length of 60 kilometers (instead of 70, as in this case).
The highest commercial Internet speed anywhere in the world is currently in Singapore, where the average download speed is 197,3 megabits per second (mbps).
There is some global rush to take this technology to a commercial level at the moment, as the micro-comb within it is useful in a really wide range of existing technologies.Bill Corcoran, Monash University
“I imagine we could see devices like ours available for research labs in two or three years and for initial commercial use in about five years,” Corcoran adds.
New world, new network
The coronavirus blockade has put a strain on the internet infrastructure in recent months. In Italy they registered traffic increases even 70% daily.
In Europe, streaming providers were asked to downgrade their services in March to cope with increased traffic. Netflix and YouTube were among those who agreed to reduce image quality for users.
Implementing the micro-comb device would alleviate this problem, according to the researchers.
Internet speed: crucial factor
The coronavirus only offered us a preview of the capacity problems that networks will see in a few years, especially when we start to network data-hungry technology such as 5G, self-driving cars and the Internet of things.
For this we will need new compact technologies like this. A fingernail-sized device can expand the data carrying capacity of our networks to reduce space, energy consumption and costs, while increasing overall data speed. The demonstration by the Australians shows a very encouraging element: the technology is compatible with the fiber optic infrastructure already installed.