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BT sets broadband speed records in 'landmark' fibre trials

Thursday, May 26th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

BT has set two new broadband speed records using fibre optic cables.

Researchers from BT’s Adastral Park lab in Ipswich, working with Huawei, achieved the fastest-ever speed over a live core network link spanning more than 700km.

They recorded a speed of 2 Terabits per second (Tbps) on the commercial fibre link that carries live customer traffic between London and Dublin.

BT also transmitted speeds of 5.6Tbps over a single optical fibre running on its trial network between Adastral Park and the BT Tower in London.

This speed is the equivalent of downloading almost 200 HD quality films in one second.

BT said the technology and techniques pioneered in its labs will allow it to squeeze more bandwidth out of its existing fibre network.

Howard Watson, CEO of BT Technology, Service & Operations, said: “BT scientists built the first commercial single mode optical fibre link back in 1984 and the BT Labs remain at the forefront of photonics research more than 30 years later.

“The core network is the superhighway of the internet. It’s important that our core networks keep pace with the growth in bandwidth demands driven by take-up of high-speed fibre broadband, HD content, 4G smartphones and tablets and in the future, 5G services.

“So we’re investing in our core, as well as in high-speed access technology such as fibre broadband, to make sure there is no capacity crunch and deliver the best possible speeds to customers.

“These landmark trials show that we can easily turn up the dial to deliver the speeds needed in our core networks to stay well ahead of rising customer demand.”

'Digital life'

Zha Jun, president of Huawei Fixed Network Product Line, said: “We are proud to be working with BT to make this world leading trial a success.

“We have been working together for over 10 years and this project marks a big step forward in our efforts to build future-ready core networks for our customers.

“Ultra-High-Speed optical networks are an indispensable infrastructure for the future of digital life, and this is an area where Huawei is investing, to help telcos such as BT squeeze as much capacity out of their core networks as possible.”

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