A team of researchers from University College London (UCL) have developed the fastest ever internet connection in history. With a data transmission speed of 178 terabits per second, it can download the entirety of Netflix’s library in just one second. The speed, double the capacity of any system currently in use and 1/5th faster than the previous record, is approaching mathematician Claude Shannon’s theoretical limit of data transmission.
While it’s naturally unlikely that consumers see this speed of data transmission at home, the researchers did note that it would be both reasonably simple and cost-effective to use this technology on the existing infrastructure. All that would be needed, they say, would be upgrading the amplifiers used on optic fiber routes which would cause just 16,000 pounds compared to the 450,000 pounds per kilometer that it can cost to install new fibers.
This massive increase in speed was brought about by the researchers transmitting data through a greater range of colors than is the norm in optic fibers. They specifically manipulated each individual wavelength by combining various amplifier technologies and making the best use of the properties of light.
Lead author of the study, Lidia Galdino, remarked that it is highly likely there come a time where mankind needs such data transmission speeds so they can sue “as yet unthought-of applications that will transform people’s lives”.