HEXUS reported on the laser cross-band upgrades to the Starlink satellite constellation back in January this year. This upgrade meant that Starlink subscribers could enjoy better coverage and reliability, with future connections designated to be as fast as 10 Gbps. This improvement came shortly after the first UK customers received the Starlink test kit (£ 500 up front, plus £ 89pcm), which may be the only fast internet option in some regions.
People like Starlink can be a “game / life changer” for some, for example a user from Illonios in the USA. Elon Musk personally responded to the mentioned user via Twitter to outline some important improvements that will come to the service in the “coming months”
Later in the answers, we got a little more technical info from the Tesla boss, about the topic of ping times. “More ground stations and less silly packing routes will make the biggest differences,” Musk wrote. “If we look at light speed as ~ 300 km per millisecond and satellite altitude of ~ 550 km, the average photon travel time is only ~ 10 ms, so many stupid things have to happen to run ping> 20 ms.”
Back in August 2020, HEXUS reported that world researchers at University College London (UCL) were breaking world record speeds. The researchers used existing fiber optic cables for a world record 178Tbps data transmission.
Now researchers in Japan have broken UCL’s record by quite a margin. A team led by physicist Benjamin Puttnam of Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) used a connected quad-core optical fiber cable (different from today’s standard single cable) plus wavelength division multiplexing technology to demonstrate 319Tbps data transmission over a distance of 3,000 km. Yes, it uses four cables, but they are claimed to have the same diameter as standard single-core optical fiber – so OK for existing infrastructure upgrades.
A report published by Science Alert states that the cables require new technology amplifiers, which use thulium and erbium rare earth-dependent components, every 70 km. The Japanese-based researchers continue to refine cabling and support technology as amplifiers to increase both transmission capacity and range.