2tbps data transfer between Dublin and London breaks record

26 May 2016

A joint research effort by BT and Huawei to create the fastest data transfer speed yet has set a new record speed of 2tbps between Dublin and London.

Telecoms companies and photonics researchers have been rapidly advancing the speeds at which data can be transferred from one location to the other, and now this speed of 2Tbps has now set a new record.

Last February, news came through that a speed of 1.125tbps was achieved by a team from University College London (UCL), but now a joint effort from BT and Huawei has trumped this in a matter of months.

The record speed was achieved over a live core network link that spans the considerable distance – in terms of high-speed record transfers – of 700km between Dublin and London.

BT itself once held the record back in 2014 when it used optical super-channel technology to deliver 3tbps speeds.

However, at that time, this speed was achieved over the easier-to-achieve closed trial network between the BT Tower in London and BT’s Adastral Park research campus in Suffolk.

5.6tbps achieved on closed network

BT also announced today that it has run a speed test on this closed network that has managed to clock an incredible 5.6tbps, or the equivalent of downloading almost 200 HD quality films in one second.

This same concept was since upgraded and applied to the fibre link carrying live customer traffic between Dublin and London.

BT said that by using terabit super-channels and flexible grid infrastructures, this will prevent a ‘capacity crunch’, by squeezing far more bandwidth out of its existing core optical networks.

Speaking of this recent achievement, Howard Watson, CEO of BT Technology, Service and Operations, said: “BT scientists built the first commercial single mode optical fibre link back in 1984 and the BT Labs remain at the forefront of photonics research more than 30 years later.

“So we’re investing in our core, as well as in high-speed access technology such as fibre broadband, to make sure there is no capacity crunch and to deliver the best possible speeds to customers.”

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic