Primitive Infrastructure Stifles Internet Speed
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Australia’s lack of fiberoptic infrastructure could be seen as a stumbling block to taking on a new innovation developed by Australian researchers out of the University of Sydney.

The new technology, which is said to increase the speed of the internet by up to 6,000 percent, is a superfast optical switch on a chip that replaces electrical switches that are used to convert optical signals to a spread of electrical signals that in turn are rerouted to other places on the net.

“This is a switch that’s 64 times faster than anything that’s happening in Telstra’s networks,” said Professor Benjamin Eggleton, who is director of the Centre for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems, when talking to the ABC. “We can create switches that are instantaneous, essentially. You can’t switch that fast with electronics.”

Eggleton claims that researchers have demonstrated the switch can split a 640 gigabit per second signal into 64 separate 10 gigabit per second signals.

The switch takes only one picosecond to “change tracks”, meaning that it can switch on and off at an incredible rate of one million million times per second.


For the Australian home user to benefit fully from such a switch though, Professor Eggleton says they will have to wait until fibre optics go directly to the home.

“We are so constrained at the moment because our backbone and infrastructure is primitive compared to what has been deployed in Japan,” says Professor Eggleton.

South Korea and Japan are said to have the fastest internet in the world with speeds in the order of hundreds of megabits per second being delivered to some home users.