While you were struggling to watch an HD or 4K Youtube video on your smartphone, laptop, or a smart TV, engineers at University College London (UCL) set a new world record for the fastest internet in the world. The recently developed technology can download at a speed of 178 Terabits (TB) per second which is equivalent to 1,78,000 Gbps.
The previous record for the fastest internet in the world belonged to experts at Japan’s National Institute for Communications Technology with a speed of 172 Terabits per second.
To get an idea about what 178 Terabits per second can do, with this speed one can download the entire Netflix library in less than one second. It would also take less than an hour to download the data that was combined to make the world’s first image of a black hole. The data to achieve this feat was shipped to an MIT observatory, stored on half a ton of hard drives.
In order to achieve the lightning-fast speed, London-based researchers sent data through much wider wavelengths compared to the one used in optical fibres usually. The team used 16.8 Terahertz (THz) instead of 9THz which is still available in select few markets. The one on which our internet works, uses a bandwidth of 4.5THz.
Lead author Dr. Galdino, a lecturer at UCL and a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow, believes that internet traffic has increased manifold due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. He said, “But independent of the COVID-19 crisis, internet traffic has increased exponentially over the last 10 years, and this whole growth in data demand is related to the cost per bit going down.”
‘The development of new technologies is crucial to maintaining this trend towards lower costs while meeting future data rate demands that will continue to increase, with as yet unthought-of applications that will transform people’s lives,’ Galdino added.
This technology is cost-effective too as this method can be put into place with $20,000 approximately compared to the cost of installing new optical cables that amount to $5,89,000.
However, achieving blinding speeds like this is still a distant dream as this is experimental technology and will not be utilised for commercial use in the near future.
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