British Telecom this week announced that together with Alcatel-Lucent it has achieved the fastest ever internet connection in a real-world environment using commercial grade hardware. BT and Alcatel-Lucent say its trial speeds max out at 1.4 Tb/s with spectral efficiency of 5.7 bits per second per Hertz. That’s the equivalent of transferring 44 uncompressed HD movies in one second, if you wanted to put it into context.
The trial was conducted over a fiber link between BT Tower, London, and BT’s research campus 80 miles away in Adastral Park, Suffolk, and made use of a new Flexigrid infrastructure that varies the gaps between transmission channels. This increase in channel density resulted in 42.5 percent greater data transmission efficiency.
"By increasing the density of channels on the fiber, this approach achieved up to 42.5 percent greater data transmission efficiency compared to today's standard networks," BT said in a statement. "The trial demonstrated that use of the Flexgrid approach can increase BT's core network capacity using existing optical fibers, potentially reducing the expense of laying more fiber as bandwidth demands grow."
Though this is all just a trial for now, the fact that BT was able to use existing hardware means the company can easily introduce new features and bump speeds down the line without the need for additional construction.