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Scientists Set World Record for Internet Speeds with New Tech
Apr. 29, 2024
Scientists Set World Record for Internet Speeds with New Tech

Scientists Set World Record for Internet Speeds with New Tech

You’ve probably heard the term ‘optical fiber’ used by internet providers to assure you that they’re using the latest tech in internet speeds and stability. These glass or plastic cables use light to transmit information over great distances much more efficiently than metal cables can.

This technology has been around for years now, but scientists have just uncovered a way to push the tech to the next level. Researchers from Aston University in the UK have discovered a way to dramatically boost internet speeds by adding new wavelength bands to existing optical fiber architecture.

Without getting too technical, let’s take a closer look at what this means and what kind of impact it might have on our everyday lives.

This Discovery Could Optimize Current Infrastructure Cheaply

ISPs (internet service providers) have an obligation to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to people’s need for internet speed. The future of their industry depends on it. ISPs must constantly be pushing the envelope considering the rising demand for faster and more capable internet connectivity, and the looming necessity for it.

The recent findings from researchers at Aston University are promising, and could provide ISPs with an affordable way to upgrade speeds on existing fiber networks.

How Would the Upgrade Work?

Instead of having to phase out and replace current infrastructure, devices, and equipment, ISPs could simply add additional wavelengths that weren’t currently being used. Researchers performed extensive experimentation to discover how to push the current design used in fiber optics to its limits.

A breakthrough came when they created special new equipment called optical amplifiers and optical gain equalizers to take advantage of previously untapped wavelengths.

Researchers were able to surpass 300,000 Gbps by essentially adding additional colors to the current light spectrum being used in optical fiber internet to increase its capacity. This is 4.5 million times faster than the average broadband connection. They were able to accomplish this by using everyday optical fiber networks like those that probably power your home’s internet.

Aston University researchers were able to achieve even faster speeds—over 1 mil Gbps—by splitting optical light into more wavelengths which can increase rates of data transmission. This option, however, would require ISPs to upgrade their infrastructure. This would be an expensive endeavor which isn’t currently needed.

Once their customers begin consuming more and more data-rich content with the need for higher internet capacities, an overhaul will have to take place. Whether it will involve the processes that Aston University’s team has discovered or not is yet to be known.

The Projected Future of the Internet

Internet speeds have been increasing linearly for years, and this discovery is the next step in a long series of technological advancements. The demand for content on the internet has increased as well, and once virtual reality becomes more commonplace and more advanced, the need for lighting fast internet will skyrocket.

Like “high-speed” internet is considered to be today, blisteringly fast internet will be a basic human necessity in the future. And with technology like the Metaverse maturing, people will likely connect more often and for longer periods at a time.

Mark Zuckerberg even thinks that someday people will be working in virtual reality offices through the Metaverse. This futuristic vision probably isn’t too far away, especially considering how much technology has advanced in the past couple of years.

From the recent release of Wi-Fi 7, to the growing prevalence of AI and process automation, Aston University’s new breakthrough seems to be coming at just the right time.