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Britain's copper cables won't handle broadband demand, study warns

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Britain's copper cables won't be able to support demand for faster and faster broadband in future, a new study warns. In experiments, researchers have found that the UK's existing copper network cables – which are based on technology dating back to the Victorian era – can support faster internet speeds, but only to a limit. Additional investment is'urgently' needed if the government is serious about its commitment to making high-speed internet available to all, they say. To deliver high-speed broadband, old'twisted pair' copper cables will need to be replaced with modern fibre optic cables, which use pulses of light to transmit data. While existing copper infrastructure can be improved to temporarily support high-speed internet, an eventual shift to optical fibre is'inevitable'.

RMIT touts faster internet thanks to 'twisted light'


The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) has announced a new technology it believes could allow for 100-times-faster internet. Broadband fibre-optics carry information on pulses of light through optical fibres, but the way the light is encoded at one end and processed at the other affects data speeds. RMIT said that by harnessing "twisted light" beams, it can carry more data and process it faster. "Present-day optical communications are heading towards a'capacity crunch' as they fail to keep up with the ever-increasing demands of big data," Dr Haoran Ren from RMIT's School of Science said. "What we've managed to do is accurately transmit data via light at its highest capacity in a way that will allow us to massively increase our bandwidth."

£1bn investment in superfast internet could bring 'full-fibre' and 5G broadband

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Two million homes and businesses around the UK could soon be getting a much faster internet connection. Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced investment of £400 million ($494 million) to boost broadband speeds around the country. The autumn statement also included £740 million ($915 million) to provide superfast 5G mobile networks to certain local authorities. Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to announce today, in his autumn statement, the dedication of more than £400 million to boosting broadband speeds around the country by increasing fibre-optic broadband across the UK. Fibre-optic networks are much faster than the traditional copper internet cables, along with being more secure and reliable.

NEC demos 26Tbps subsea cable AI tech


NEC has said the spectral efficiency across the FASTER subsea cable system can be upgraded to 6 bits per second per hertz for a capacity of more than 26 terabits per second (Tbps) -- over two and a half times the capacity originally planned at no additional wet plant capex. In joint research with Google, NEC said the tests made use of artificial intelligence (AI) and probabilistic shaping at a 64 Quadrature Amplitude Moderation (64 QAM) modulation. "For the first time on a live cable, artificial intelligence was used to analyse data for the purpose of nonlinearity compensation (NLC). NEC developed an NLC algorithm based on data-driven deep neural networks to accurately and efficiently estimate the signal nonlinearity," NEC said. "In doing so, the authors set a spectral efficiency-distance product record of 66,102b/s/Hz in a field trial performed together with live traffic neighbouring channels."