The data transfer achieved by the researchers was 44.2 terabits per second (Tbps).
Remarkable about the Australian record data rates is that they were not measured under laboratory conditions but in an existing fiber optic network. They achieved these speeds by replacing about 80 lasers in the existing hardware of a telecom provider with a single optical chip, a so-called micro-comb.
The speed achieved is considerably faster than we currently need consumers. Because it can be placed in context: the Amsterdam internet exchange Amsterdam Internet Exchange AMS-IX saw an increase in data traffic of 17 percent this year due to working from home as a result of the corona crisis. Their peak speed of 7.9 Tbps also broke the AMS-IX’s records.
According to the researchers, the study provides a glimpse into the future of the internet, where as we now see during the lockdown, more and more people are working from home, socializing and using even more streaming services. In addition, the internet of the future will also process much more data for, for example, self-driving cars and other smart home applications.
In any case, the research shows that the use of micro-combs means that the internet infrastructure that is currently in place could be ready for the future, with much higher peak speeds expected.