Super super-fast broadband could suddenly seem super slow if a research team at a Welsh university has their way. The team from Bangor University's School of Electronic Engineering has already managed to pump 20 GB of data a second—that is, as the BBC explains, the equivalent of downloading 20 movies—but the real question is whether they can do it without breaking the bank.
The technology, which would use existing optical Internet cabling, is called OOFDM, or Optical Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing*. It works by converting the raw digital data, firstly into physical electrical waves and then into an optical signal capable of being pumped down a cable by a laser. What the researchers at Bangor have done is to create the electronic kit that transforms the optical signals at each end.
As well as the E.U., the project is being backed by some big-name firms, including Fujitsu, Finisair Israel, and VPIsystems. If successful, the system would transform the online world, from e-health to video on demand and gaming.
*Should I have a second child, this will be his/her name.