The lion king

At 319 Tbit/s, the Japanese team breaks a new internet speed record

A group of Japanese researchers have Usain Bolt on the digital highway – running away with the record for the fastest internet speed ever.

They managed to transfer data at a speed of 319 terabits per second. With this kind of broadband speed, you can download 57,000 full movies in 1 second or entire Spotify library in less than 3 seconds.

Viable demo

To put this achievement into context, NASA’s backbone operates at 400 gigabytes per second, while a majority of us in India get broadband services at just 512 kbps.

What makes the feat of researchers from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NIICT) even more interesting is that they used existing fiber optic infrastructure to achieve the speed record. This means that their method can be integrated into fiber optic infrastructure with minimal effort.

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NIICT has built a long distance transmission of over 3,001 km and it says this demonstration shows compatibility for near-term adoption in existing cable technologies.

Members of India’s broadband community have enthusiastically welcomed this new development, especially since broadband transmission has a very relevant use case in India.

TV Ramachandran, chairman of the Broadband India Forum, said India’s current transmission systems are not equipped to handle India’s huge data appetite, which is the highest in the world. He estimates that right now “we have 500 million or fewer users using the internet and that number is likely to grow.”

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Additionally, video content has particularly taken hold among the Indian population, which requires even higher speeds. “If you look at current transmission systems that aggregate data on the central processor, you will face challenges because current systems are not capable of handling transmission of such a capacity. This is where such developments become relevant,” Ramachandran said.

Long term investment

Pranav Roach, chairman of Hughes Network Systems India Ltd, a satellite broadband company, believes that this technology will take some time to implement in the field. “This is a long-term, high-investment project, so while it’s a step in the right direction, it will result in a concrete solution quite far into the future.”