Japan has announced that a team of engineers from the National Institute and Communication Technology (NICT) broke the record for the fastest internet speed. The team accomplished an impressive speed of 319 terabits per second, which is double the previous record.
Originally reported by Tom's Hardware, UK and Japan held the previous record, which the two countries set in 2020. Working together, both countries achieved an internet speed of 178 terabits per second.
Internet speeds developed rapidly over the years. The first commercially available internet connections with dial-up reached 56k on a good day. Most customers now can get internet speeds in the MB and GB, although it might be some time until we see a 319tb internet connection acailable to the public.
The achievement stil marks an important moment for internet infastructure, pointing towards a future where such speeds might be a reality.
Japan creates 552-channel comb laser
Japan achieved the speed using special equipment. Skilled engineers achieved the speed using lasers. An official paper on the record provides some very detailed information on the sheer speed of Japan's achievement:
"We demonstrate the recirculating transmission of 552 x 25 GHz spaced channels covering >120 nm of S, C, and L-bands in a 125μm diameter, 4-core fiber, measuring a decoded throughput of 319 Tb/s at 3001 km."
The team utilised a 552-channel comb laser that fires across numerous wavelengths. Those lightstreams are then processed and aplified by new types of fiber amplifiers covered in thulium and erbium. This complex arrangement of techniques resuled in that 319tb internet speed.
That network carried that speed for over 3000 kilometres without any drops in performance. Granted this network was built especially for the test. Unfortunately, most typical fibre-optic networks couldn't maintain the speed so consistently without massive drops.
We might see it one day
According to engineers in the report, we could see those kinds of speeds in local fibre-optic networks in the future. This would, of course mean altering the networks as they currently are, but the possibilty of a 319tb network speed seem with the investment.
Such a speed would completely change how we interact with the internet. Providing almost instant access to large files at any time. No buffering, no lag. No more connectioon issues while playing video games online!