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New discovery could significantly boost Internet speeds

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There are a lot of us still stuck in the “before times,” dealing with our “average speed” DSL and cable connections while the rest of the world moves onto FiOS. Don’t get us wrong: we’re much happier than we were in the days of dial-up, but I still feel like I’m living in the past when I visit a friend that has a crazy fast Web connection. But for anyone out there who is finally making a change, and grabbing a new FiOS connection, you may want to wait. According to ZDNet, U.S.-based researchers have discovered a way to create an even faster fiber-optic-based product.

The breakthrough makes use of “optical vortices,” which are classified as “doughnut-shaped laser light beams.” These vortices have been considered as a suitable way to increase Web speeds before, but were ruled out when scientists realized they were too unstable to use in fiber-optic technology. However, according to engineering professor, Siddharth Ramachandran, of Boston University, there is a way to include these optical vortices within a fiber-optic line without causing issue.

The estimated increase in data-speed using this type of technology is significantly boosted compared to current Web speeds. Researchers discovered that they could send data over a one kilometer fiber line at a speed of 1.6 terabits per second. That’s the equivalent of sending approximately eight Blu-ray DVD’s every second. It’s a pretty impressive prospect and hopefully something we will see become reality in the near future.

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