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Preventing Gridlock: Developing Next Generation Internet Infrastructure

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Photonics researchers in Europe are embarking on a project that could increase the current bandwidth capacity of broadband networks 100 times. The 11.8 million-euro MODE-GAP project will work to boost capacity of broadband networks by developing data-transmission technologies based on special long-haul transmission fibers and associated enabling technologies such as rare-earth doped optical amplifiers, transmitters and receiver components, and data-processing techniques. The effort could have a significant impact on future-proof networks and systems with increasing information throughput.

"We are close to realizing the fundamental data-carrying capacity limits of current fiber technology in the laboratory, and although there is plenty of headroom for capacity scaling of commercial systems for the next 10 to 15 years, we need to be looking now at developing a new generation of transmission techniques, based on novel fibers and amplifiers, if we are to keep pace with society's ever increasing data transport demands in the longer term," says David Richardson at the University of Southampton, which is leading the project. "The MODE-GAP project has the potential to revolutionize the way we build and operate future generations of optical network."

From University of Southampton
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