Japan now holds the crown for the fastest internet speed in the world with a whopping 319 terabits per second. The development was announced by a team of researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT).
This breaks the previous world record that was announced in August 2020 by researchers at University College London with a speed of 178 terabits per second. This has nearly been doubled now by the NICT team in Japan.
The modern internet is based on fibre-optic cables that carry data in the form of pulses of light. Light has wave-like properties and just like waves on water, each wave has a peak and the distance between each peak is its wavelength. Hence, if you expand the number of wavelengths available, you can increase the amount of data sent through a fibre optic cable.
That is exactly what the Japanese researchers did. They added a whole band of wavelengths (the S-band) over a distance of 3,001 kilometres, but the trick was to go a longer distance over a fibre connection. Since fibre cables need amplifiers to go a long distance, the research team added new materials as amplifiers called Erbium and Thulium.
These two materials combined with a technique called Raman amplification, the researchers were able to accommodate the S-band over a much longer distance.