Scientists at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT) broke the world record for Internet transfer last week, transmitting 319 Tbps of data over 3,000 kilometers using four-core optical fiber.
To understand what this means, simply perform the math and realize that the value is double the 179 Tbps obtained last August by a team of British and Japanese researchers. To achieve this remarkable performance, the NICT team utilized nearly every phase of the pipeline and incorporated several facilitators.
For instance, the fiber optic cable did not have a single core, but four. The researchers used amplifiers made from rare-earth minerals to fire lasers at various wavelengths from an optical generator.
Since the test was conducted inside the laboratory, the team used a spiral fiber to transmit the data over a simulated distance of 3,000 kilometers with no degradation in signal quality or speed.
The new record’s impact on internet usage
As is the case with the majority of studies of this type, a technology with this level of reach is not yet economically viable, even though data can be transmitted quickly over great distances. However, it appears as though the experiment’s big “star” was a new four-core fiber optic cable that is the same size as standard cables but has the potential for large projects.
Concerning the potential impact on our daily internet experience, the NICT researchers point to the practical application of their fiber production technologies in generations “beyond 5G,” such as the future 6G. Concerning the technology’s practical implications, they assert that it entails adopting faster internet access that never “crashes” as user numbers increase.