BT in partnership with Alcatel-Lucent have set a new record for the fastest commercial Internet via current network infrastructure.
The test which sent data from BT’s Central London’s office to an office in Ipswich (about 410km or 255 miles in distance) was transferred at a blistering speed of 1.4 terabits per second (179.2 gigabytes per second). While speeds like this may never filter down to the average consumers for many years to come, one of their biggest achievements was that it was done over existing network infrastructure and there was no need for any upgrades to support the test.
The tests were also conducted under more real-world conditions rather than in a more perfect lab setting. At these speeds, someone could theoretically download 44 average sized HD movies in just 1 second.
Using a new protocol called ‘Flexigrid’, they were able to overlay several channels into one connection, allowing for the moment of 200 gigabits of data to be sent down through 7 individual pipelines, increasing transmission efficiency by 42.5%. The downside to all this is that with more data being squeezed down through the existing infrastructure, there is a tendency for more errors to pop-up. I guess this really isn’t an issue now though since they may never go to those extremes, but they are working on increasing bandwidth given that the rest of the developed world is stepping up their game as well (e.g. Gigabit Internet).