(Pocket-lint) – For those of us living on more mortal planes, an internet speed anywhere over around 50MB/s can feel seriously nice – you don’t have to worry about pages loading slowly, and you can handily power most streaming services at high resolutions.
As it turns out, though, we’re all playing with baby toys compared to what researchers are achieving in labs. A team at University College London (UCL) recently achieved a new world best for internet speed, topping out at 178TB/s.
For some much needed context, that’s enough to download the entire Netflix library of shows and movies, every last one them, in a single second flat. It’s also about 24 times the peak daily traffic across the entire UK during lockdown earlier this year, using BT’s numbers.
That’s quadruple the previous record, which was only achieved earlier this year in Australia, so it looks like the envelope is being pushed in 2020. Dr Lidia Galdino’s team at UCL achieved their impressive results by amplifiying the data through a much wider range of colours of light for faster transfer speeds.
That’s exciting because it theoretically means that upgrading the amplifiers already in use on broadband networks could boost speeds significantly, without needing a deeper form of hardware or infrastructure upgrade.
Still, for now these sorts of speeds are still pie-in-the-sky stuff for normal people.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.