Internet speed touches new highs: You can now download full Netflix library in 1 sec

University College London researchers create record by sending signals over wider wavelengths than what optical fiber supports

Researchers at University College London have achieved a speed of 178 terabits per second, which is a new world record for the fastest internet speed. Representational image: iStock

Internet speeds are breaking new barriers. Researchers have now been able to achieve an internet speed that can download every single title on Netflix in the blink of an eye.

Researchers at University College London have achieved a speed of 178 terabits per second (Tbps), which is a new world record for the fastest internet speed.

The previous record was achieved by a Japanese team with a speed of 150 Tbps. It was not long ago that researchers had held the record by clocking a speed of 44.2 Tbps.

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The research at UCL was led by Dr Lidia Galdino of the Royal Academy of Engineering. Xtera and Kiddi Research were also part of the project.

The speed was achieved by transmitting data through a much wider range of wavelengths than possible through optical fiber and with new amplifier technology that could boost the signal power.

Currently, optical fibers support bandwidth of up to 4.5THz. In some regions, systems that can support over 9THz are in place. The bandwidth that the researchers at UCL used was almost twice of this, at 16.8THz.

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“While current state-of-the-art cloud data-centre interconnections are capable of transporting up to 35 terabits a second, we are working with new technologies that utilise more efficiently the existing infrastructure, making better use of optical fibre bandwidth and enabling a world record transmission rate of 178 terabits a second,” Dr Galdino said.

She said existing infrastructure can support the speed with minor adjustments that would involve upgrading amplifiers on optical fiber.

For instance, at 178 Tbps, the whole Netflix library can be downloaded in less than a second.

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