The US is determined to achieve supremacy in quantum computing, and that now includes plans for a fledgling quantum internet. The Department of Energy has provided a “blueprint strategy” for a prototype national quantum internet that could be completed within 10 years. The Department’s 17 national labs would serve as the “backbone” of the network, although the report outlining the system noted that it would start out small and require reaching four milestones.
Designers would first verify that secure quantum protocols work properly over current fiber optic networks. Networks then have to start sending quantum entangled data (that is, photons linked with each other at a distance) across cities and school campuses. The network would use quantum repeaters to boost signals and enable transmissions between cities, and reach the ultimate goal of transmitting data between states.