Australian scientists develop world's fastest internet speed

Unfortunately, consumers will still not be able to get the 44.2 Tbps speeds anytime soon

Internet providers around the world are feeling the strain as millions of employees and students work and study from home in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Internet speeds, however, can't seem to keep up. But, as it seems, researchers from the Monash, Swinburne, and RMIT universities in Australia have recently reached speeds that would satisfy all our internet surfing needs.

A new study published in Nature Communications described how researchers were able to set a new world record with super fast internet speeds of 44.2 Tbps (terabits per second). The researchers used the standard optic fiber in the laboratory and the actual network in the greater metropolitan area of Melbourne, Australia. The 44.2 Tbps was a result of a raw bitrate. Meanwhile, a coded rate in the field was a slightly lower 39 Tbps which still beats the current data in the market.

The researchers used "optical frequency combs generated by integrated micro-cavity resonators" or the "soliton crystal micro-combs." While this technology sounds complicated, these researchers were able to intensify data transfer speeds in "demanding and practical optical communications networks" using these micro-combs.

The research was achieved using only a single integrated chip source with over 75km of standard optical fiber. "This work demonstrates their (optical fibers) ability to support ultrahigh bandwidth data transmission in practical and demanding environments,"

The Verge reported that the test fiber connection ran between RMIT's Melbourne City and Monash University's Clayton campuses. The researchers claimed that it mirrors Australia's National Broadband Network infrastructures.

One of the team members, Swinburne University Professor David Moss, said their findings show a "world-record for bandwidth."

"What our research demonstrates is the ability for fibers that we already have in the ground, thanks to the NBN project, to be the backbone of communications networks now and in the future. We've developed something that is scalable to meet future needs," Monash University lecturer Bill Corcoran, who is also one of the lead authors of the study, said.

How fast is, however, 44.2 terabits per second? To compare, 44.2 terabits per second is equal to 5.525 terabytes per second. By the end of 2019, Pornhub claimed it hosts 11 petabytes or 11,000 terabytes. At this rate, a person would be able to download all the videos on the aforementioned site in about 1991 seconds, or 33.2 minutes.

This speed is also enough to download all 50 100GB Ultra HD Blu-ray discs contents in a snap. That is more than enough to keep anyone busy throughout the lockdown period.

This is refreshing news as the lockdown's heavy internet usage has put great pressure on internet providers. Corcoran said this technology could ultimately transform various industries.

"This data can be used for self-driving cars and future transportation, and it can help the medicine, education, finance, and e-commerce industries," he told BBC.

Unfortunately, consumers will still not be able to get these speeds anytime soon since the technology is still in its research phase. But it is refreshing to know that it is possible.

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