UCL comms system 50,000 times fast as broadband

UCL invents comms system 50,000 times faster than broadband

Brainstorming brainboxes at University College London have invented a new optical communication system which carries data 50,000 faster than your average broadband connection.

The team of alpha geeks say they have set a new record for the fastest ever data rate for digital information, achieving a barnstorming rate of 1.125 terabits per second.

Head boffin, Dr Robert Maher, UCL electronic and electrical engineering, said: “While current state-of-the-art commercial optical transmission systems are capable of receiving single channel data rates of up to 100 gigabits per second (Gb/s), we are working with sophisticated equipment in our lab to design the next generation core networking and communications systems that can handle data signals at rates in excess of 1 terabit per second (Tb/s).

“For comparison this is almost 50,000 times greater than the average speed of a UK broadband connection of 24 megabits per second (Mb/s), which is the current speed defining ‘superfast’ broadband. To give an example, the data rate we have achieved would allow the entire HD Games of Thrones series to be downloaded within one second.”

The UCL’s study is part of the EPSRC-funded UNLOC programme to investigate ways to improve the optical network infrastructure to support the explosion of digital content, cloud and e-health services, as well as the ubiquitous connectivity of smart devices referred to as the Internet of Things.

Professor Polina Bayvel, the principal investigator of the UNLOC programme at UCL, said: “This result is a milestone as it shows that terabit per second optical communications systems are possible in the quest to reach ever higher transmission capacities in optical fibres that carry the vast majority of all data generated or received.

“A high-capacity digital communications infrastructure underpins the internet and is essential to all aspects of the digital economy and everyday lives.”