Fiber internet is great no matter who's laying it down. Gigabit connection speeds? Hell yes. But if you thought that was fast, researchers in the UK have something better that will not only blow your hair back, but blow it right off: a 1.4 terabit connection, and all with commercial-grade hardware.
Developed by a joint research team from French telecoms company Alcatel-Lucent and BT, the magic of this incredible connection isn't in fancy hardware. Instead, it's in a new protocol named Flexigrid that lets you lay multiple signals over the top of each other in a a single cable, which lets data race from point A to point B in parallel. When layered all together, seven 200 Gbps channels form one, mega "Alien Super Channel" that offers the 1.4 Tbps speeds across a 255 miles stretch of fiber that already exists between the BT Tower in London and a BT research campus in Suffolk.
How fast is 1.4 Tbps? Fast enough to stream any one of the following in one second:
- 64 hours of HD Netflix
- 38 hours in 3D or 4K
- 36,409 songs from Spotify
We've seen some other impressive advances in connectivity recently too, like 200 Gb wireless connections through a combination of hardware and a software advancements. But 1.4 Tbps through pure protocol is especially exciting because it doesn't require any infrastructure changes. This could theoretically run on the fiber (much of which is lying useless) in the ground right now.
But laying new fiber is a rough process, and not many people (aside from Google) are actively pursuing it in the US. Still if we could get 1.4 Tbps out it, that's all the reason in the world to bring dark fiber back to life, and start laying more new stuff to boot. A whole 1,433 reasons to hurry it up already. [The Independent]