Japan holds the title of having the fastest internet speed with 319 terabits per second. A team of researchers from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology announced the development.
This surpasses the previous world record of 178 terabits per second, which was set by University College London researchers in August 2020. The NICT Japan team has almost doubled this speed.
Modern internet technology is built on fiber-optic cables, which carry data in the form of pulses of light. Light is wave-like and each wave has a peak. The distance between each peak determines its wavelength. You can send more data through a fiber optic cable if there are more wavelengths.
This is exactly what Japanese researchers did. The Japanese researchers added a whole spectrum of wavelengths (the S-band) over a distance of 3,001 km. But the trick was to extend that distance using fiber connections. The team developed amplifiers using Erbium or Thulium, as fiber cables require amplifiers to travel long distances.
The researchers were able to accommodate the S-band over a longer distance using Raman amplification and these two materials.
It is important to remember that this type of research shows what is possible, not what’s feasible. The new technology can be integrated into existing infrastructure but we will need to replace existing cables in order for it to work.
It is a significant step in the right direction. However, it will take a few more years before this new technology is available for regular use.