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There's a running joke about how Australia's broadband being frankly embarrassing.
Sometimes you're better off just switching to 4G on your phone at home or hooking your laptop up to a Personal Hotspot because you'll get quicker download speeds. But researchers Down Under might have cracked the code to unlocking some seriously fast speeds.
A team from Australian universities Monash, Swinburne and RMIT have developed a device that has broken the record for the fastest broadband ever seen.
The world record speed gives users 44.2 terabits per second - which, if you don't know your terabits, is pretty bloody fast. It's one million times faster than our National Broadband Network and would allow you to download 1,000 high definition movies in a second.
In. One. Second.
According to The Independent, the researchers used a 'micro-comb' optical chip containing hundreds of infrared lasers to transfer data across existing communications infrastructure in Melbourne.
The research was led by Monash University's Dr Bill Corcoran, RMIT's Arnan Mitchell and Swinburne's Professor David Moss.
Mitchell explained that the future ambition of the project was to scale up the current transmitters from hundreds of gigabytes per second towards tens of terabytes per second without increasing size, weight or cost.
He said: "Long-term, we hope to create integrated photonic chips that could enable this sort of data rate to be achieved across existing optical fibre links with minimal cost.
"Initially, these would be attractive for ultra-high speed communications between data centres. However, we could imagine this technology becoming sufficiently low cost and compact that it could be deployed for commercial use by the general public in cities across the world."
Monash University's Dr Bill Corcoran told AAP: "At 40 terabits per second, we were able to put through one single fibre about three times the peak data rate that the NBN has ever seen over its entire network."
He added: "If you've got 400 gigabit per second to share amongst a bunch of people, that cake only gets chopped up a so many times before the slices become too thin. If you've got a bigger cake, then you can give people bigger slices."
According to an RMIT press release, the internet was tested on 76.6km of 'dark' optical fibres between RMIT's Melbourne City Campus and Monash University's Clayton Campus. This is known as the testbed.
The team used a new device that replaces 80 lasers with one single piece of equipment known as a micro-comb, which is smaller and lighter than existing telecommunications hardware.
It acts like a rainbow made up of hundreds of high quality infrared lasers from a single chip. Each 'laser' has the capacity to be used as a separate communications channel. Researchers placed the micro-comb - contributed by Swinburne University - onto the testbed optical fibres and sent maximum data down each channel, simulating peak internet usage, across 4THz of bandwidth.
It is the first time any micro-comb has been used in a field trial.
Now it just needs to be given to the rest of us so we can see what good download speeds are really like.
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