A team of Japanese researchers has set a new world record internet speed (data transmission).

Using an optical fiber that is available commercially, the team established a data rate of 402 terabits per second – around 1.6 million times faster than the median average broadband speed in the US.

Under the direction of the Photonic Network Laboratory at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), the research team was able to set the achievement by constructing a system comprising all transmission bands of standard optical fibers, as well as deploying different amplification technologies.

NICT stated the new way to access previously unused wavelength bands could be put to use in future telco networks

“The newly developed technology is expected to make a significant contribution to expand the communication capacity of the optical communication infrastructure as future data services rapidly increase demand,” NICT outlined in a summary statement of the work.

Ambition to extend the transmission range

The average US broadband speed as of May 2024 was 248.27 Mbps, with an upload speed of 34.23 Mbps.

In Q4 2023, Cox recorded the fastest average speed in a test of the leading fixed broadband providers across the States.

The data rate set by the Japanese team, 402 Tb/s, is lightning fast, capable of downloading around 12,500 films in a single second, which is more than three times the number of films currently available on Netflix.

NICT researchers have the ambition to eventually extend the transmission range to vast, trans-oceanic distances, but there will need to be some caution on the immediate outcome of the achievement. Although standard fiber optic was used to set the new world record, the feat was achieved thanks to the backdrop of optimal lab conditions.

More research would be required, and a lot of resources, to replicate even a small portion of the breakthrough data transmission in the real world.


Image credit: Via Ideogram

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