The National Broadband Network Company (NBN Co) has heralded the results of a German experiment that achieved a record data transfer rate of 26 terabits per second (Tbps) over a single fibre optic cable, stating that this demonstrates the longevity of the technology.
Researchers from Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology revealed on Sunday that they had successfully transmitted the equivalent of 200,000 high-resolution images, 400 million phone calls or 700 DVDs across 50km in one second.
This was achieved by using a single laser to create a number of pulses known as "frequency combs" that are each separated by a wavelength of 12.5GHz. These were then compacted into 325 colour channels using a method of Fourier transform before being sent down the fibre optic cable.
There have been concerns that fibre optic technology may be outdated by the network's completion in 2020. However, NBN Co's chief technology officer, Gary McLaren, said that the results of the test showed that the decision to have NBN Co roll out fibre to 93 per cent of the population was the right call.
"The amount of data people are transferring across communications networks, especially video transmissions, is increasing all the time. As fibre optic technology improves, so too will speeds and the amount of data that can be carried over the network we are building today," he said. "This gives us confidence that we're delivering the right communications infrastructure to sustain our nation for decades to come."