Japan now holds the crown for the fastest internet speed in the world with a whopping 319 terabits per second. The development was announced by a team of researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT).
That is exactly what the Japanese researchers did. They added a whole band of wavelengths (the S-band) over a distance of 3,001 kilometers, but the trick was to go a longer distance over a fiber connection. Since fiber cables need amplifiers to go a long distance, the research team added new materials as amplifiers called Erbium and Thulium.
These two materials combined with a technique called Raman amplification, the researchers were able to accommodate the S-band over a much longer distance.
However, it is worth mentioning that this kind of research shows what’s possible rather than the final step showing what’s practical. Although the newly discovered technology could fit into existing infrastructure, we would need to replace the existing cables for it to work.
Regardless, it is still a major step in the right direction, but it is going to be a few years before this new technology can be implemented for regular use.
This breaks the previous world record that was announced in August 2020 by researchers at University College London with a speed of 178 terabits per second. This has nearly been doubled now by the NICT team in Japan.
The modern internet is based on fiber-optic cables that carry data in the form of pulses of light. Light has wave-like properties and just like waves on water, each wave has a peak and the distance between each peak is its wavelength. Hence, if you expand the number of wavelengths available, you can increase the amount of data sent through a fiber optic cable.