Sorry, Your Internet Connection Is Slow

How fast is your Internet connection? The days of 56K modems are — thankfully — long gone for most of us. But before you get too smug with your gigabit fiber connection, have a look at what researchers from the Network Research Institute in Japan have accomplished. Using a standard diameter fiber, they’ve moved data at a rate of 1 petabit per second.

The standard fiber has four spatial channels in one cladding. Using wavelength division multiplexing, the researchers deployed a total of 801 channels with a bandwidth over 20 THz. The fiber distance was over 50 km, so this wasn’t just from one side of a lab to another. Well if you look at the pictures perhaps it was, but with big spools of fiber between the two lab benches. The project uses three distinct bands for data transmission with 335 channels in the S-band, 200 channels in the C-band, and 266 channels in the L-band.

To put this into perspective, a petabit — in theory — could carry a million gigabit Ethernet connections if you ignore overhead and other losses. But even if that’s off by a factor of 10 it is still impressive. We can’t imagine this will be in people’s homes anytime soon but it is easy to see the use for major backhaul networks that carry lots of traffic.

We are still amazed that we’ve gone from ALOHA to 2.5-gigabit connections. Although the Raspberry Pi can’t handle even a fraction of the bandwidth, you can fit it with a 10-gigabit network card.

27 thoughts on “Sorry, Your Internet Connection Is Slow

  1. It is also really surprising how much throughput you can get with off the shelf DWDM transceivers running multiple colors on conventional single mode fiber. The Raman pumps were probably because of the distance. None of this is done on a budget. Next issue is finding a switch with fabric that supports that kind of speed.

    1. So I back of the enveloped it, annnnd I’m getting figures over 100 petabits per second for a large station wagon stuffed with micro SD cards over 50km….

  2. With that bandwidth and a fast computer and of course youtube having the X100 speed you could be strapped into a chair and forced every youtube video ever made in like 24 hours. You would either go insane or be the smartest puppy on the planet.

  3. “The days of 56K modems are — thankfully — long gone for most of us”
    Although we do miss times when websites were compact and adverts were less invasive. Or at least some of us do.

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