Scientists Hit Internet Speed Record of 402,000 Gbps Using Existing Fiber Tech

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Scientists Hit Internet Speed Record of 402,000 Gbps Using Existing Fiber Tech

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  • Andrea Miliani

    Written by: Andrea Miliani Tech Writer

  • Justyn Newman

    Fact-Checked by Justyn Newman Head Content Manager

Scientists from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), in partnership with other labs, published a report of a recent world internet speed record of 402 Tb/s—402,000 Gbps—achieved using commercially available optical fiber.

According to the Independent, the speed hit by the scientists is about 5 million times faster than the average Internet speed in the United Kingdom. With such a speed, a Netflix user could download every movie available within a second.

The document shared states that the research team obtained that speed “by constructing the first optical transmission system covering all the transmission bands (OESCLU) of the low-loss window of standard optical fibers.” The scientists managed to combine amplification technologies, like different “doped fiber optical amplifiers” and “discrete and distributed Raman amplification”, to extend wavelength channels and increase data rates.

The NICT expects this new discovery to have an impact worldwide. “The newly developed technology is expected to make a significant contribution to expand the communication capacity of the optical communication infrastructure as future data services rapidly increase demand,” was explained in the summary.

According to PCMag, another record was hit earlier this year, in March, when Aston University in the UK—one of the partners of the project—reached 301,000 Gbps.

This new record does not represent the highest Internet speed ever reached. As reported by PCMag, researchers in Europe reached 1 million Gbps “by effectively splitting the optical light into more wavelengths” in 2022. However, that record required an upgrade to the existing optical fiber networks, while the Japanese record managed to optimize the commercial optical networks currently available.

More details on the technology and the strategies used to reach the record can be found in the public document. The NICT has not specified if they will be able to sell this technology to reach a wider audience soon, but Nokia Bell Labs is one of the partners supporting the research. Nokia recently acquired Infinera—an optical networking company—for $2.3 billion.

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