Government has given £7.2m for the research of the ultimate broadband speed said to be as fast as the speed of light.
This project, called “Photonic HyperHighway”, aims to develop new technologies that will strongly enhance internet bandwidth. Researchers will be using optic fibres in drawing out this innovation. Their goal is to dramatically increase internet speed, to support heavy usage for downloading and streaming over the internet.
The team, which is based at the University of Southampton, will be using photonic switches instead of electronic switches to convert signals. The research will be conducted at the University’s new £55m Mountbatten Building, which is created to replace a building with the same name that was destroyed years ago.
Professor David Payne, leader of the project, said, “Now is the time to look ahead to develop the UK infrastructure of the future. Our ambition is nothing less than to rebuild the internet hardware to suit it to the needs of 21st-century Britain.” Payne went on to explain that “Traffic on the global communications infrastructure continues to increase 80 per cent year-on-year.” The increase is a result of speedily expanding and progressively more demanding applications, like internet-based television and new ideas like cloud computing. What this project proposes is a radical transformation of the physical infrastructure that underpins these networks.”
He added, “The internet is fundamental to our lives and we use it for a huge range of activities - from doing the weekly food shop to catching up with friends and family. The number of broadband subscribers has grown vastly in the past ten years, and we need to ensure the web infrastructure can continue to meet this demand.