BT Tests Lightning-Fast 1Tbps Broadband In U.K.


Think Google’s 1Gbps fiber speeds are impressive? Think again. BT and Alcatel-Lucent have teamed up to achieve lightning-fast speeds of 1.4 terabits per second in the U.K. — that’s over 10,000 faster than the current fastest consumer broadband available in Britain, and it will let you download 44 full-length HD movies in a single second.

What’s more, it was achieved using existing fiber broadband cables.

The tests were conducted back in October and November on a line between BT Tower in central London and the company’s research headquarters in Ipswich, just under 100 miles away. BT used a “Flexigrid” approach to reduce space between seven regular 200GHz channels, increasing transmission efficiency by more than 40 percent.

The resulting “Alien Super Channel” allowed for crazy speeds more than 10,000 times faster than those currently offered by Virgin Media, Britain’s fastest broadband provider.

“BT has a long history of leading innovation in telecommunications, from the earliest days of the electric telegraph to today’s global fiber networks,” said Dr Tim Whitley, BT’s MD of research and innovation.

“These trials continue that tradition, as we work with Alcatel-Lucent to push the boundaries of fiber technology, allowing us to support the ever increasing bandwidth required by our customers, and deliver new and exciting services which rely on fast, data-hungry applications.”

But don’t get too excited just yet, because 1.4Tbps is significantly more than you’re likely to get in your home in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the tests will help BT and other providers find new ways to increase broadband speeds using existing fiber cables.