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UK researchers create internet connection that could download 44 HD films in a second

The researchers used a new “flexible grid” infrastructure which increased internet speeds to 1.4TB per second.

Image: Nick Ansell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

RESEARCHERS IN THE UK have created the fastest real-world internet connection using commercial fiber optic lines, reaching speeds of 1.4TB per second.

The team, which consisted of researchers from French telecoms firm Alcatel-Lucent and broadband company BT, believe it’s the fastest speed ever achieved in a real-world situation.

In theory, the speeds would allow a user to download 44 high definitions films in one second.

The trial, which was carried out over an existing 410km fiber link between the BT tower in London and BT’s Adastral Park research campus in Suffolk, used a new “flexible grid” infrastructure.

This allowed them to overlay several transmission channels over the same connection, allowing them to increase data transmission efficiency by 42.5 per cent when compared to current networks.

BT says that this development could potentially reduce the expense of laying down more fiber cables as bandwidth demands grow.

The news comes after South Korea, which boasts some of the fastest internet speeds in the world, announced its plan to roll out a next-generation 5G wireless service. The €1.1 billion plan will bring speeds that will be fast enough to download full-length films in a second.

The country’s science ministry said it aims to implement the technology – which is said to be 1,000 times faster than 4G – within six years.

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The first trial service for 5G will be rolled out in 2017 and a fully commercial service is expected to arrive in December 2020.

(Additional reporting from AFP)

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Quinton O'Reilly

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