Researchers Using Colour to Boost Broadband Speeds




/ 3 years ago

Researchers Using Colour to Boost Broadband Speeds

A team of UK researchers is working on a simple new way to speed up existing broadband networks. In fact, it’s as easy as changing the colour of transmitted light. The University College London researchers – led by Dr Sezer Erkılınç – hope the research will boost the UK’s rather average broadband network. Indeed, in tests, the researchers achieved speeds up to 30-times faster than the UK’s fastest connection.

To Boost Broadband Speeds With Colour

The UCL team tested the new system over a redundant fibre line and the results are very impressive:

“The receiver was tested on a dark fibre network installed between Telehouse (east London), UCL (central London) and Powergate (west London). The team successfully sent data over 37.6 km and 108 km to eight users who were able to download/upload at a speed of at least 10 Gb/s. This is more than 30 times faster than the fastest broadband available in the UK, today.”

A Boost to UK Broadband Speeds

Both Openreach – which owns most of the UK’s telecommunication infrastructure – and the Government pay lip-service to enhancing the UK’s broadband. The UCL’s research, though, offers a cheaper way of boosting the UK’s broadband infrastructure; one without the need to lay and replace hundreds of miles of new fibre. As ever, the infrastructure is way behind innovation. The growth of video (and even game) streaming is being stymied by slow networks. This needs to change, and soon.

Dr Erkılınç (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering) said:

“UK broadband speeds are woefully slow compared to many other countries, but this is not a technical limitation. Although 300 Mb/s may be available to some, average UK speeds are currently 36 Mb/s. By 2025, average speeds over 100 times faster will be required to meet increased demands for bandwidth-hungry applications such as ultra-high definition video, online gaming, and the Internet of Things.

The future growth in the number of mobile devices, coupled with the promise of 5G to enable new services via smart devices, means we are likely to experience bandwidth restrictions; our new optical receiver technology will help combat this problem.”


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