A research team at the University College London led by Dr. Lidia Galdino (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering), has created the fastest-ever internet connection that is 20% faster than the previous record.
The team was able to transmit data at 178 terabits per second, which is double the capacity of any system currently used in the world. The connection speed is pretty close to the theoretical limit of data transmission, proposed by American mathematician Claude Shannon in 1949 and is so high that it can download the entire Netflix library within a second.
The researchers unveiled that this was made possible by using a wider range of colors than normally used for transmitting data on optical fiber. They combined this with different amplifiers to make the best use of properties of light that transmitted the data. This allowed them to manipulate individual wavelengths specifically.
Where an internet connection speed as high as 178 tbs is a massive breakthrough, the technology is still a proof of concept. Regular customers are unlikely to see connections with that speed anytime soon.
However, researchers believe that the new tech can help upgrade the connectivity speeds by tweaking the already available infrastructure. All that is needed is to upgrade the amplifiers that are used on optical fiber routes, which will cost around £16,000 instead of £450,000 per kilometer to install new optic fiber cables. This means that we could see a massive increase in internet bandwidth within the next few years as this tech is relatively cost-effective and practical.