Researchers from University College London (UCL) in the UK are now able to achieve a speed which is five times faster than the previous record Credit: Representational image

Guwahati: Now, downloading the entire Netflix library in less than a second might be a new reality, as scientists in the UK claim that they have achieved the world’s fastest internet data transmission rate.

Achieving a data transmission rate of 178 terabits a second, the researchers from University College London (UCL) in the UK are now able to achieve a speed which is five times faster than the previous record. The previous record was held by a team in Japan. Described in a research paper which is published in the journal IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, the record is double the capacity of any system currently developed in the world.

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This was achieved by transmitting data through a much wider range of colors of wavelengths or lights than is typically used in optical fiber said the researchers. Additionally, the researchers combined different amplifier technologies that are needed to boost the signal over this wider bandwidth. They maximised speed by developing new Geometric Shaping (GS) constellations thereby manipulating the properties of each individual wavelength.

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These GS constellations are actually patterns of signal combination which makes the best use of brightness, polarisation, and phase properties of the light. Moreover, the benefit of this technique is that it can be deployed on an already existing infrastructure cost-effectively, as said by the researchers. This can be done by upgrading the amplifiers which are located on optical fiber routes at 40-100 km intervals.

Additionally, according to the researchers with this speed, it would take less than an hour to download the data that made up the world’s first image of a black hole. The added that the speed is close to the theoretical limit of data transmission set out by American mathematician Claude Shannon in 1949.

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Lead author Lidia Galdino, a lecturer at UCL and a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow said that while the current state-of-the-art cloud data-center interconnections are capable of transporting up to 35 terabits a second, the team is working with new technologies that utilise more efficiently the existing infrastructure. She added that these technologies make better use of optical fiber bandwidth which enables a world record transmission rate of 178 terabits a second.

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