The Internet Will Become Faster

Science Fields

Do you know the speed of your internet connection? What about the speed limit of your current optical cables utilising data transfer over the internet?

According to Speedtest, an agency that conducts reliable tests on global internet usage, the fastest mean broadband speed in the world is in Singapore with 286.66 megabits per second. Türkiye ranks 68th among all countries with 37.66 Mbit/s. (You may test the speed of your connection on the Speedtest website. At the time of writing this article, the author’s connection speed was 17.39 Mbit/s).

Researchers at Aston University in the UK have just published a paper reporting that they have managed to transfer data at a speed of 301 Tbit/s (301,000,000 Mbit/s), which is 4.5 million times faster than the average fixed broadband in the UK. This progress may have a serious impact on data transfer and related technologies in the long run. Moreover, existing fibre optic infrastructure can be used for this, meaning no new lines will need to be laid. To visualise it, you may think of it like this: With a speed of 301 Tbit/s, you can download 1,800 4K movies in one second!

Fibre optic cables are a now familiar technology consisting of very thin glass tubes that transfer data using infrared light. Today, fibre optic cables transfer data using what scientists call the C and L bands (wavelengths between 1260 and 1675 nanometres). Since the least loss during data transfer occurs in this band range, our entire internet system is based on it. However, as internet usage increases, it is predicted that congestion in this data flow will increase, just like traffic jams. Therefore, new bandwidths have been under investigation for some time.

The new research uses a wider wavelength frequency range called the E and S bands. For this, new devices called optical amplifiers and gain equalisers are being tested. According to Dr. Ian Phillips, one of the researchers, no one has been able to manipulate the E bandwidth in a controlled way before. With these devices, the very high data loss normally experienced in the E band can be avoided.

Probably the most important part of this development is that it can transfer data over existing fibre optic cables. In fact, these cables support much faster data flows such as S and E band, but the devices to manage the flow properly had not yet been developed. Thanks to the devices developed by Phillips and his team, these new wavelengths also become available.


  • 1. https://www.popsci.com/technology/fiber-optic-wavelength-record
  • 2. https://www.livescience.com/technology/communications/fiber-optic-data-transfer-speeds-hit-a-rapid-301-tbps-12-million-times-faster-than-your-home-broadband-connection
  • 3. https://www.aston.ac.uk/latest-news/aston-university-researchers-send-data-45-million-times-faster-average-broadband
  • 4. https://www.speedtest.net