UCL engineers set new world record internet speed

The world’s fastest data transmission rate has been achieved by a team of UCL engineers, led by Dr Lidia Galdino of The Optical Networks Group. The team reached an internet speed a fifth faster than the previous record.

Working with two companies, Xtera and KDDI Research, the research team led by Dr Lidia Galdino, achieved a data transmission rate of 178 terabits a second (178,000,000 megabits a second) – a speed at which it would be possible to download the entire Netflix library in less than a second.

The record, which is double the capacity of any system currently deployed in the world, was achieved by transmitting data through a much wider range of colours of light, or wavelengths, than is typically used in optical fibre.

Dr Galdino said: “While current state-of-the-art cloud data-centre interconnections are capable of transporting up to 35 terabits a second, we are working with new technologies that utilise more efficiently the existing infrastructure, making better use of optical fibre bandwidth and enabling a world record transmission rate.”

“Internet traffic has increased exponentially over the last 10 years. The development of new technologies is crucial to maintaining this trend towards lower costs while meeting future data rate demands with, as yet, unthought-of applications that will transform people’s lives.”

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Dr Lidia Galdino (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering) is a member of The Optical Networks Research Group (ONG) and an academic supervisor on the Centre for Doctoral Training in Connected Electronic & Photonic Systems (CEPS CDT).

Photo credit: James Tye, UCL.