The fastest internet speed in the world has been clocked at an incredible 178 terabits per second (Tb/s) – fast enough to download the entire Netflix library in under a second. Engineers in the UK and Japan have developed new ways to modulate light before it’s beamed down optical fibers, allowing for much wider bandwidths than usual.
That new top speed is an insane feat. It’s 17,800 times faster than the current fastest internet connections available to consumers – 10 Gb/s in parts of places like Japan, the US and New Zealand. Even NASA can’t compete, with its 400 Gb/s ESnet.
It also leaves other experimental devices in the dust, including a photonic chip developed in Australia that clocked a still-impressive 44 Tb/s just a few months ago, and beats the previous record holder – a Japanese team with 150 Tb/s – by almost 20 percent.
“While current state-of-the-art cloud data-centre interconnections are capable of transporting up to 35 terabits a second, we are working with new technologies that utilize more efficiently the existing infrastructure, making better use of optical fiber bandwidth and enabling a world record transmission rate of 178 terabits a second,” says Lidia Galdino, lead researcher on the study.