Japan now has the world’s fastest internet speed, clocking in at 319 terabits per second. A team of experts from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology hailed the breakthrough (NICT).
This beats the previous global record of 178 terabits per second set in August 2020 by researchers at University College London. The NICT team in Japan has nearly doubled this amount.
The current internet is built on fiber-optic links that transmit data in the form of light pulses. Light has wave-like qualities, and each wave, like waves on water, has a peak, and the distance between those peaks is the wavelength. As a result, increasing the number of available wavelengths allows you to send more data across a fiber optic line.
That’s exactly what the Japanese scientists did. They added an entire wavelength band (the S-band) over a distance of 3,001 kilometers, but the challenge was to travel a further distance via a fiber connection. Because fiber cables require amplifiers to travel great distances, the study team used novel materials dubbed Erbium and Thulium as amplifiers.
The researchers were able to accommodate the S-band over a significantly greater distance by combining these two materials with a technique known as Raman amplification.
However, it is important to note that this type of research demonstrates what is feasible rather than the ultimate phase, which demonstrates what is practicable. Although the newly discovered technology might be integrated into current infrastructure, it would require the replacement of existing cables in order to function.
Regardless, it is a significant step forward, but it will be some years before this new technology can be used on a regular basis.