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Revolutionary Optical Fibre Cable Transmits Data Equivalent to 17million Internet connections.

Optical Fibre Cable

By Richard AbolarinwaPublished about a year ago 5 min read
Image of fiber optic cables that connect the world today


An international collaboration of researchers has achieved a new speed record after transferring 1.7 petabits of data over 41 miles (67 km) of standard optical fiber cable. That's the equivalent speed of 17 million broadband internet connections.

Optical fiber cables are a critical component of the modern world of the internet, where they connect data centers, satellite ground stations, mobile phone towers as well as continents to one another.

Each optical fiber cable is no thicker than a human hair (125 microns) yet is powerful enough to handle the world's internet traffic. Tech companies like Facebook even own their own undersea cable infrastructure to make global connections.

A short history of optical fiber cables

It was only in 1988 that the first optical fiber cable was laid across the Atlantic Ocean when Zuckerberg was just four years old. Called TAT8, the cable had a capacity of 20 megabits and was instrumental in setting up the world wide web. But it soon reached its capacity.

More than three decades later, Grace Hopper, the latest generation optical fiber capable, was put into service and had a capacity of 22 terabits, more than a million times what the TAT8 could carry.

With the increasing demand for services like streaming content, video conferencing, etc., even the newer optical fiber cables could soon reach their capacity. Researchers have tried multiple innovations, such as using different colors and polarisations to maximize the capacity of optical fiber cables.


In today's fast-paced digital era, the demand for faster and more efficient internet connections is ever-increasing. To satiate this hunger for expeditious data transfer, a groundbreaking optical fiber cable has emerged that promises to revolutionize the way we connect to the internet. Boasting a mind-boggling speed equivalent to 17 million regular internet connections, this advanced technology holds the potential to reshape various industries that rely heavily on high-speed internet connectivity, such as telecommunications, research institutions, financial sectors, and more. This article delves into the incredible capabilities, development, and potential applications of this game-changing technology.

The Powerhouse of Connectivity:

At the core of this remarkable invention lies an optical fiber cable capable of unheard-of transmission speeds. Traditional cable networks, utilizing copper wires, struggle to transmit data swiftly over long distances due to the limitations imposed by electrical resistance. Optical fiber cables, on the other hand, utilize light to transmit data, enabling near-instantaneous transfer without losing signal integrity.

The new optical fiber cable, developed by a team of dedicated researchers and engineers, represents a significant leap forward in data transmission capabilities. By employing cutting-edge materials and refined manufacturing techniques, it overcomes the limitations of its predecessors, enabling an astounding rate of data flow equivalent to a staggering 17 million individual internet connections. This advancement is poised to redefine the boundaries of data transfer and drive innovation across a variety of sectors.

Unleashing Innovation Across Industries:

1. Telecommunications: The telecommunications industry is set to benefit immensely from the advancements in optical fiber cable technology. With the new cable's unparalleled data transmission speed, communication networks can support exponentially higher connection capacities, making streamed media, online gaming, and video conferencing experiences seamless and lag-free for millions of users simultaneously.

2. Cloud Computing: The rise of cloud computing has revolutionized how individuals and enterprises manage their data. However, the efficiency and responsiveness of cloud services rely heavily on high-speed internet connectivity. With the new optical fiber cable, cloud computing providers can offer enhanced performance, ensuring faster and more reliable access to critical data and resources, leading to increased productivity and improved user experience.

3. Research Institutions: The data-intensive nature of scientific research, particularly in fields such as genomics, astrophysics, and particle physics, necessitates incredibly high-speed data transfer. The new optical fiber cable's unparalleled capabilities will enable researchers to process and transmit vast amounts of data in real-time, expediting important discoveries and breakthroughs in various scientific disciplines.

4. Financial Sectors: The financial industry heavily relies on real-time transactions and data connectivity. High-frequency traders, banking institutions, and stock exchanges will all benefit from the increased speed and efficiency brought about by this optical fiber cable. Real-time market data and lightning-fast transactions will become the norm, enhancing overall market stability and efficiency.

Challenges and Future Developments:

While the newfound capabilities of this optical fiber cable are undoubtedly impressive, it is pertinent to acknowledge the challenges and potential limitations that may arise as this technology progresses.

1. Adoption and Infrastructure Upgrades: Widespread deployment of this ultra-high-speed optical fiber cable will require substantial investment in upgrading the existing telecommunication infrastructure globally. The installation of the new cable will be an intricate and costly process, necessitating comprehensive planning, coordination, and financial backing.

2. Compatibility and Compatibility Issues: As this optical fiber cable pushes the boundaries of data transmission speeds, achieving compatibility with existing hardware and devices may pose a significant challenge. Extensive testing and compatibility updates will be required to ensure seamless integration and optimum performance.

Next-generation optical fiber cable

A multinational team of researchers, therefore, set out to make the next generation of optical fiber cable that can cater to even higher demands of data transfer. Current cables have a single core through which multiple light signals are sent.

Next generation optical fiber cables could been deployed in 5-10 years

Since the technology has its limitations, the researchers hailing from Australia, Japan, The Netherlands, and Italy, went over multiple design options. The fibers could be made thicker, but that would have made them less flexible and more difficult in the long haul as they would also be more fragile.

Adding more fibers was also considered but this would increase the cost of the equipment needed to make the system work while also increasing demand for more fibers.

Finally, the researchers settled on a design that uses 19 cores that can each carry a signal. Since the fiber made in this way was still able to meet global standards, it can be used without any changes to existing infrastructure. Moreover, the setup uses lesser digital processing; it also reduces the power required to transmit bits of information.

Researchers at Macquarie University in Sydney, who were also part of the research collaboration, developed a glass chip crucial to the creation of the 19-core fiber. Using 3D printing, the researchers etched a waveguide pattern into the glass chip. This allowed feeding signals into 19 individual cores simultaneously with uniform low losses.

The fiber was developed by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd in Japan. The researchers expect the technology to make undersea cables in the coming five-ten years and facilitate research in a wide spectrum of research areas ranging from space to sewage, a press release said.


The advent of this optical fiber cable capable of transmitting data at the astonishing speed equivalent to 17 million internet connections marks a significant milestone in the realm of internet connectivity. Its groundbreaking capabilities have the potential to revolutionize various industries, redefine the limits of data transmission, and prop up a new generation of advanced applications. As this technology continues to develop and evolve, it is crucial for stakeholders across sectors to collaborate in overcoming obstacles to maximize the benefits offered by this game-changing invention. With the barriers to ultra-high-speed internet connectivity breaking down, a brighter, faster, and more interconnected future is undoubtedly on the horizon

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About the Creator

Richard Abolarinwa

As an Electrical engineer, I am passionate about finding creative solutions to complex problems. my interests extend beyond just electrical systems. I'm also a passionate writer with a love for health, technology, science, and engineering.

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Comments (7)

  • falz peterabout a year ago

    This article is well-structured, making it easy to follow along and comprehend the main points.

  • Richard chrisabout a year ago

    This article is an excellent resource that i'll bookmark for future reference

  • james johnabout a year ago

    The writing style in this article is engaging and kept me hooked until the end

  • phillip benabout a year ago

    Fibre optics communication

  • johnson deiabout a year ago

    great research, one of my favourite

  • john bassyabout a year ago

    Great work

  • Abolarinwa Queenabout a year ago

    Nice work

Richard AbolarinwaWritten by Richard Abolarinwa

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