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BT achieves record data transmission speeds

The live core network link spanning more than 700km provided an example of what the super highway of the internet can achieve

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A world-first for BT's researchers at Adastral Park
A world-first for BT's researchers at Adastral Park


BT has clocked the fastest ever data transmission speeds over a live core network link.


The trials, conducted in association with Huawei, reached speeds of 2 Terabits per second (Tbps) over a 727km fibre link between London and Dublin through use of Terabit superchannels and flexible grid infrastructures, technology and techniques pioneered in BT’s labs. It claims to be a world-first for the BT researchers at Adastral Park in Ipswich.


By increasing the spectral efficiency of a single strand of glass, BT said it has succeeded in squeezing far more bandwidth out of its existing core optical networks, allowing it to avoid a capacity crunch. Previously in 2014, BT used optical superchannel technology to deliver record breaking speeds over a closed trial network.


“The core network is the superhighway of the internet,” said Howard Watson, CEO of BT Technology, service & operations. “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,” he continued. “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.”


Separately, the company achieved speeds of 5.6Tbps over a single optical fibre running on its trial network between the BT Labs in Adastral Park and the BT Tower in London, beating the previous record of 3Tbps set in 2014. This speed is the equivalent of downloading almost 200 HD quality films in one second.


“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,” added Zha Jun, president of Huawei fixed network product line.

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