2000 Times Faster Broadband?

News Article - Tuesday, 06 November 2012 10:40

By: Kerry Butters Category: Connectivity

Scientists at Bangor University in North Wales are working on a three-year project dubbed ‘Ocean’ in order to see if they can create broadband speeds of up to 2000 times faster than those today, using existing fibre optic cables.

So far the researchers have managed to cram 20GB of data per second down cable and hope to make the project "commercially viable” by the time the project comes to an end. However, as more and more cable is laid around the UK and cables become longer, this can cause problems with speeds.

"The effect is known as dispersion,” according to the BBC.

They go on to report that the only way to deal with the problem is to look at such measures as "as increasing the physical number of fibre optic strands in cables, increasing the number of lasers coding and decoding the digital data, and signal amplification technologies”.

However, according to Dr Roger Giddings, this is likely to push the cost up so that it’s not commercially viable.

"So the focus for the Ocean project is really to find out if we can do it in a cost-effective way, and is it a viable way of doing it in a commercial setting?"

This has led to the scientists attempting a number of different approaches, such as converting raw digital data into electrical waves and they have designed an electronic kit which can code and decode optical signals.

"There are probably less than 10 groups in the world who have been looking at this sort of problem," said Dr Giddings.

"But we are the only group who has got this end-to-end system.

"This is the only system that we know of in the world that we can demonstrate working in real-time - with a real-time transceiver and a real-time receiver."

The Bangor scientists are working alongside some of the best known and most respected experts in the industry such as "Fujitsu Semiconductors Europe; the developers of the MPEG video format, Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute; optic fibre innovators Finisar Israel; and VPIsystems, one of the world leaders in network data analysis”.

Whilst Project Ocean is expected to take three years to complete, scientists say that they are already one-year in, so consumers can expect to see some results in around 2 years’ time.

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