In the Philippines, the fastest Internet speeds for fixed and mobile connections come from PLDT, Inc. and Smart Communications, Inc., respectively. Fixed or broadband Internet registered 25.07 Mbps download speed and 24.54 Mbps top upload speed; while for mobile, the best offered was 16.95 Mbps download speed and 5.96 upload speed. This is based on data by Speedtest.net covering July 2020.
With reference to these numbers, it is safe to say that people in the Philippines are still far from experiencing the best Internet technology: according to Speedtest.net, United Arab Emirates listed the highest mobile Internet speed at 110.90 Mbps and Singapore for broadband Internet at 213.18 Mbps. More importantly, a new world record has been set for the world’s fastest Internet at 178 terabits per second (Tbps), a silver lining for all of us.
Developed by researchers at the University College London, the new record is said to be double the capacity of any system currently deployed in the world. At 178,000 Gbps, it is able to download the entire content of Netflix in just a second.
“At this speed, it would take less than an hour to download the data that made up the world’s first image of a black hole (which, because of its size, had to be stored on half a ton of hard drives and transported by plane). The speed is close to the theoretical limit of data transmission set out by American mathematician Claude Shannon in 1949,” the researchers said.
Dr Lidia Galdino from Royal Academy of Engineering led this project in collaboration with Xtera and Kiddi Research.
But how did they do it? Can this be replicated for commercial use?
The trick is in improving the infrastructure of the spectrum bandwidth by using 16.8Thz to get 178,000Gbps and applying amplifier technologies to boost the signal. It is far from the current 4.5THz and 9THz bandwidth used to achieve the Internet speed we have today.
As for this technology being used commercially, yes, it is possible. Such technology is cheaper to integrate with our existing Internet infrastructure versus installing new optical fiber cables. The technique done by the UCL researchers only requires upgrading the amplifiers that are located on optical fiber routes at 40-100km intervals.
“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 utilize more efficiently the existing infrastructure, making better use of optical fibre bandwidth and enabling a world record transmission rate of 178 terabits a second,” Dr Galdino said.
Before this new record, Japan held the title for the world’s fastest internet speed at 35 Tbps.