Alcatel-Lucent and BT have joined forces to deliver what they say is the fastest-ever broadband data connection using commercial-grade hardware: 1.4 terabit per second over a 254-mile fiber link in the U.K.
The vendors last October/November used a flexible grid infrastructure and an "Alien Super Channel" comprised of seven 200 Gbps channels to gain 42.5% greater data transmission efficiency vs. standard networks today. BT said using its space-squeezing technology couild enable it to carry more video and other demanding traffic without building out as much fiber down the road.
BT teamed with Ciena last Spring on an 800Gbps transmission that it said was the fastest at that time.
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With demand for speed only going up -- Cisco says the average fixed broadband speed globally will increase 3.5-fold from 2012 to 2017, from 11.3Mbps to 39Mbps -- service providers are going to need new ways to handle the traffic. Not that Alcatel-Lucent and BT are saying 1.4Tbps will be available commercially anytime soon.