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Bell Labs uses 155 lasers to beam ridiculous amounts of data over 7,000 kilometers

Tim Stevens
October 1, 2009
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Let's say you have a monumental collection of data at your place. Like, say, everything ever posted to the Pirate Bay. And let's say the Feds are beating down your door and you need to dump that data to a secure off-site storage facility right now. Who do you call? A lawyer, of course, because currently there's no practical way to do such a thing. But, in the not too distant future you might call up Bell Labs, a company whose scientists managed a monumental 100 Petabits per second per kilometer transmission rate using 155 lasers at different optical frequencies. If you take distance out of the equation you're looking at 15.5 Terabits per second, more than ten times faster than the last laser transmission test we reported on. Naturally, this was conducted in conditions that don't quite equate to the real world at large, and it's going to be a long time before we have fiber pipes like that beaming data into our homes. So, hands up chum, and make that one call count.

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