Our European cousins over in Germany have just smashed a load of broadband records that could see absolutely, faster-than-blazing fibre headed our way. Deutsche Telekom’s T-Labs managed to pump data at a colossal 512Gbps down one channel of one single optical fibre across Germany in a 456-mile Berlin-Hannover-Berlin round-trip.
That’s some 412Gbps faster than current 100Gbps state-of-the-art networking. The broadband provider did say that a more realistic speed would be just 400Gbps, but that’s just one channel. Normally each optical fibre strand uses loads of channels simultaneously, which could mean an immense 24.6Tbps if T-Labs pushes its normal 48-channels per fibre – that’s down just one fibre that’s thinner than a human hair. Bundle a load of those fibres into one cable and you’ve got enough bandwidth for everyone at speeds that would turn even South Korea green with envy.
The best bit is that you don’t have to dig-up the cables to get a speed boost; it’ll all be done at the terminal end. The next step is to get manufacturers like T-Lab's partner Alcatel-Lucent to get on and produce the kit so ISPs can install it, so the superfast fibre revolution is a little way off at least.
Still, the gigabit-fibre future certainly looks bright; imagine widespread 1Gbps connections, without even breaking a sweat. Come on Virgin and BT; time to take a leaf out of Germany’s book. I want my place hooked-up with gigabit fibre, and I want it yesterday. [T-Labs via GigaOm]
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