Scientists Hit 301,000 Gbps Internet by Tapping New Fiber Wavelength Bands | Tech

Scientists in the UK say they’ve developed a way to beam internet speeds at 301,000 Gbps over a single, standard optical fiber.

Researchers at Aston University did so by tapping new wavelength bands — or essentially additional colors— not used in current optical fiber cabling.

“Broadly speaking, data was sent via an optical fiber like a home or office internet connection,” said Ian Phillips, one of the Aston University researchers on the team.

(Credit: Aston University)

Other scientists have been able to send even faster internet speeds at over 1 million Gbps by effectively splitting the optical light into more wavelengths to boost the data transmission rates. However, the research paper from the Aston University team says these solutions can require upgrading an entire optical fiber network.

“In contrast, MBT (multiband transmission), while limited in overall bandwidth to that of the installed standard single mode fibre (SSMF), requires system upgrade only at the node and operator level,” researchers wrote. They add that their experiment was carried out over a 50 kilometer-long optical fiber.

Specifically, the team developed “optical amplifiers and optical gain equalizers,” which can tap the E-band and S-bans, alongside the already commercialized C and L-bands. “Before the development of our device, no one had been able to properly emulate the E-band channels in a controlled way,” Phillips said.

The research promises to offer ISPs a more affordable way to upgrade speeds on existing fiber networks. “Growing system capacity by using more of the available spectrum —not just the conventional C-band but also other bands such as the L, S and now E-bands can help to keep the cost of providing this bandwidth down,” added Aston University Professor Wladek Forysiak. “It is also a ‘greener solution’ than deploying more, newer fibers.”

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