Engineers in Japan have successfully broken the world record for the highest internet speed, reaching a data transfer speed of 319 Tb/s, according to a study presented at the International Conference on Optical Fiber Communications in June. This speed is almost twice as fast as the previous record of 178 Tb/s that was achieved less than a year ago.
The study revealed that the new internet speed record was made possible on a fiber cable that stretched more than 3,000 kilometers, and what’s amazing is that it appears to be compatible with the current cable infrastructure.
This new record beats the transmission speed by more than twice as fast compared to the previous record of 178 Tb/s, which was recorded just a year ago and seven times faster than the previous record of 44.2 Tb/s set by an experimental photonic chip.
The American space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) uses only a basic speed of 400 gigabits per second (Gb/s). The new record, however, soars well over the current speed available to customers. In fact, regions of Japan, New Zealand and the USA have the fastest home internet connections that reach 10 Gb/s.
This new world record was achieved by means of combining already existing fiber optic infrastructure with more advanced technologies namely thulium and erbium-doped fiber amplifiers and distributed Raman amplification. Instead of using a conventional standard core, the research team used four “cores”, glass tubes put in fibers that transmit data. Utilizing a technique called wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), the signals are then separated into several wavelengths and broadcast simultaneously.
The huge increase in speed was thanks to the engineering team utilizing S, C and L band transmission for the first time. A rarely used third “band” is included in order to carry more data, and the distance is increased with the use of various optical amplification technologies. Normally C and L bands are used for long-haul transmission, but the S-band was used this time too. Also, as the four-core optical fiber works with already existing equipment, this makes it cheaper and easier to deploy.
Imagine, with that kind of broadband speed, you can download 57,000 full-length movies in one second or the entire Spotify library in just 3 seconds!
According to Statista, the top 10 countries with the fastest average fixed broadband internet speeds as of May 2021 are:
- Singapore – 250 Mbps
- Hong Kong – 245 Mbps
- Monaco – 224 Mbps
- South Korea – 217 Mbps
- Thailand – 214 Mbps
- Romania – 213 Mbps
- Denmark – 210 Mbps
- Liechtenstein – 204 Mbps
- France – 198 Mbps
- Switzerland – 198 Mbps