In this era people cannot think of their lives without the internet, especially during this global pandemic which forced millions of people to stay at home, and companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter asked their employees to work from home.
The Internet has turned into a real driving force of the economy and there is no doubt, so it's in every country's best interest to provide its citizens a decent level of Internet access. As per the 2018 data, South Korea was the world's leader as far as the average Internet connection speed is concerned and the average speed across the country was 26.7 Mbps, while the average peak is 95.3 Mbps. In terms of the highest commercial internet speed in the world, Singapore is at the top of the chart where the average download speed is 197.3 megabits per second (Mbps). But now we have a new world leader- Australia.
It was reported that Australian researchers from Monash, Swinburne, and RMIT universities, have successfully achieved a world record internet speed of 44.2 terabits per second which will allow the users to download 1,000 HD movies in a single second.
World's Fastest Internet Speed
The team of researchers in Australia used a 'micro-comb' optical chip that includes hundreds of infrared lasers to transfer data across existing communications infrastructure in Melbourne and their finding was published in the journal Nature Communications on Friday. It should be noted that in Australia, the average download speed is 43.4 Mbps which is one million times slower than the speeds achieved by the researchers in the recent test.
This surprising move was made at a time when in Europe, one of the most Coronavirus affected continents, the streaming service providers were asked to degrade the services in March to cope with the increase in online traffic. The highly popular online service Netflix and Google's YouTube were agreed to reduce the picture quality for users. But as per the researchers in Australia, the country won't have to face the same issues, thanks to the micro-comb.
Dr Bill Corcoran from Monash University said, "There's a bit of a global race on at the moment to get this technology to a commercial-stage, as the 'micro-comb' at its heart is useful in a really broad range of existing technologies. I'd guess that we could see devices like ours available to research labs in two to three years and initial commercial use in about five years."
He mentioned that the extra usage has provided an opportunity to understand the capacity issues networks will face in just a year of time, especially when "we start bringing online data-hungry tech such as 5G, self-driving cars and the 'internet-of-things' more broadly."
In such cases, new compact technologies like the "finger-nail size device" is much needed in terms of expanding the data capacity of the networks to reduce space and power consumption, as well as costs, while expanding the overall data-rates. "Our demonstration also shows that the device we produced is compatible with the optical fiber infrastructure that is already in place."
Along with Dr Corcoran, two other researchers -Professor Arnan Mitchell (RMIT) and Professor David Moss (Swinburne)- have mentioned that it is the first time any micro-comb has been used in a field trial and possesses the highest amount of data produced from a single optical chip. The lead researcher Dr Corcoran said:
What our research demonstrates is the ability for fibres that we already have in the ground, thanks to the NBN project, to be the backbone of communications networks now and in the future. We've developed something that is scalable to meet future needs.
And it's not just Netflix we're talking about here – it's the broader scale of what we use our communication networks for. This data can be used for self-driving cars and future transportation and it can help the medicine, education, finance and e-commerce industries, as well as enable us to read with our grandchildren from kilometres away.
Professor Mitchell said that reaching the optimum data speed of 44.2 Tbps showed the potential of existing Australian infrastructure and the future ambition of this project is to scale up the current transmitters from hundreds of gigabytes per second to tens of terabytes per second without increasing size, weight or the cost. He also added that:
Long-term, we hope to create integrated photonic chips that could enable this sort of data rate to be achieved across existing optical fibre links with minimal cost. Initially, these would be attractive for ultra-high speed communications between data centres. However, we could imagine this technology becoming sufficiently low cost and compact that it could be deployed for commercial use by the general public in cities across the world.