A typical fibre network can carry a lot of data, but experimental technology from Facebook and Nokia has found a way to boost its capacity by 2.5 times. According to Network World, the two companies have been using a submarine cable across the Atlantic to test ways to push more data through fibre optic.
Nokia recently tested new technology on a pair of fibres used by Facebook on the 5,500-kilometer AEConnect cable in the Atlantic between Ireland and New York. A new technique developed for increasing cable efficiency managed to boost the capacity of the fibre connection by approximately 2.5 times.
Currently, Facebook's fibre can carry approximately 13Tbps (terabits per second). Using the recently tested experimental technology called PCS (probabilistic constellation shaping), the fibre could transmit a record-setting 32Tbps.
Nokia optical networking marketing director, Kyle Hollasch, said fibre’s ability to carry data depends on various factors, such as how long it is and the characteristics of its glass. "Every fibre in the ground, everywhere in the world, is different," he said.
Pushing the boundaries
Companies like Facebook are already pushing the limits of fibre, with high resolution video straining networks that link consumers and datacentres. The good thing about fibre optic is its capacity can be boosted from what was available when the cable was laid.
New equipment, such as PCS, on each end of a fibre link can help to transmit data more efficiently. Nokia expects the technology to be ready for submarine cables and fibre networks, several which Facebook has invested in, in three years.
"Facebook pays the same for this cable regardless of how much data they put on it," Hollasch said. “So they might as well put as much as they can.”
Fibre for everyone
The speed of fibre optic has made it a top choice for large business such as Facebook, but mid-sized companies can also benefit from the connection. BTAS Connect is already providing fast fibre-powered Internet and WAN to numerous mid-sized businesses, and it could be yours as well from $400 per month (plus GST).
Symmetric connectivity of BTAS Connect means uploads are equally fast as downloads, so you’ll be able to add high quality content to the Cloud within minutes. High speed broadband also means you do not need to worry about the reliability of your file transfers or the availability of the Internet.