Today's "superfast" broadband speeds might well be rather impressive, but they may soon be obliterated by new developments with could see 20 and even 40 gigabit connections offered through today's fibre connections.
A team at the Bangor University in north Wales is working on the tech, as part of a three-year project to make a commercial solution to the top speed problem using off-the-shelf components. The issue fibre engineers face is that of "dispersion," the fact that even data encoded as light and beamed through fibre cables has a maximum level, beyond which errors begin to seep in and the whole thing starts to crumble.
Instead of installing fatter cables, which would mean rewiring the parts of the country that have just been rewired at a massive cost, the project is looking to first encode data into a physical electrical wave, which is then transferred into an optical signal for transmission, then decoded at the other end -- a system known as Optical Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing.
The team has already managed a 20 gigabit test connection through standard home fibre and believes 40 gigabits could be the ultimate aim. We'll happily sign up for that at £36 a month. [Bangor Uni via BBC]
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