A team of researchers at Bell Laboratories has reportedly developed a new technique for sending data farther and faster along fiber-optic lines, the physical infrastructure that forms the backbone of the internet. This is a big step. Researchers have long feared that there might be a limit to the speed and distance data can be transmitted over fiber-optic cables. But this new technique may allow us to improve on the infrastructure we already have.According to the BBC, the technique neutralizes distortions picked up during transmission in much the same way that noise-canceling headphones block sound. As a result, the researchers were able to overcome fiber-optic limitations:
The team used the technique to send a signal of 400Gb/s—four times faster than the best commercially available speeds—down 12,800km of optical fibre, farther than even the longest trans-oceanic fibre link.
In case we needed any more proof, these researchers have shown us once again that the pace of the information revolution is not slowing down. Technological developments like this will over time reshape the global economy—and if anything they feel like they’re coming faster and faster with each passing day.[Binary digits photo courtesy of Shutterstock]