Record Breaking Pipe from BT and Alcatel-Lucent

BT and Alcatel-Lucent have announced that they have developed a link that is able to transmit data at an incredible 1.4Tb per second.  The existing fibre link between BT Tower in London and Ipswich is 255 miles in length using seven 200Gbps channels transmitting through an “alien superchannel”.  The data was being transmitted through the 400Gbps Photonic Services Engine (PSE), Alcatel-Lucent’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS).

The significance of this latest achievement is that there none of the infrastructure used between London and Ipswich was designed specifically for this test.  By changing the gaps between the transmissions from 50GHz to 35GHz, using a technology known as Flexible Grid – or FlexGrid – they have managed to increase speeds by up to 42.5% above standard networks.

This will allow BT to provide faster broadband to it’s customers without having to change the expensive part of their network, the underground fibre.

“This outstanding achievement demonstrates that BT can easily introduce new features and technologies across our core network, maximizing the efficiency of our existing infrastructure” says Neil J. McRae, chief network architect at BT.

“Working with Alcatel-Lucent on this trial has been highly productive in demonstrating the viability of an alien wavelength approach”.  It may be some time before these speeds reach the consumer market, but BT has been reassured when its £2bn commercial roll-out is completed by the End of Spring 2014, there will be ways of significantly improving speeds without going underground.

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