TOKYO — The world record for internet speed has been broken by engineers at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, according to a press release by the institute.
The engineers demonstrated a data transmission rate of 319 terabits per second using optical fibers running over 3,000 km or 1,864 miles.
Those speeds are almost twice the previous record, set just a year ago, according to New Atlas.
According to Science Alert, the system works by transmitting data using technology called wavelength-division multiplexing.
First, light signals are beamed from a laser that splits them into 552 channels.
These signals are then sent down the four optical fiber cores, where the previous record used three.
As the signals travel through those cores, at intervals of 70 kilometers or 43.5 miles, amplifiers doped with the rare earth elements thulium [g]and erbium [h]reduce transmission loss.
Signals are sent then into another segment of optical fiber, before the entire process repeats itself.
The four optical fiber cores are the same diameter as a conventional single core fiber, including the protective cladding around it, which means the new method could be easily compatible with existing infrastructure, though the press release did not outline a timeline for any consumer application.