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French boffins: Regard, our record-breaking long, fat, wet pipe

Could withstand punishment of a year of porn delivered in ONE SECOND. Ouch

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Boffins have designed a new underwater network pipe which can transmit data at record-breaking speeds.

Researchers at Alcatel-Lucent claim their new cable is three times faster than the "most advanced underwater cables currently in use".

Working at Alcatel-Lucent’s Innovation City campus in Villarceaux near Paris, boffins from the firm's R&D subsidiary Bell Labs achieved speeds of 31 Terabits-per-second. They claim this rate could be maintained along a cable stretching 7200km - enough to span the Atlantic Ocean.

Philippe Keryer, chief strategy and innovation officer of Alcatel-Lucent, said:

“Undersea fiber-optic transmission is integral to the digital economy, delivering vast amounts of video and data between countries, regions and continents. As our customers cope with increasing demand on their networks for data capacity and higher-speeds of transmission, our researchers are intensifying their application with tests like this to develop new technology solutions to transform global data networks. This underlines the strategic R&D focus we recently announced as part of The Shift Plan.”

All well and good, but how how much porn can be squeezed through this underwater cable? If we assume the average 15 minute, low-res blue movie is about 100 megabytes in size, this would mean the new cable could speed 40,632 naughty flicks across the Atlantic every second, enough for 423 days and nights of non-stop porn viewing - in just one second.

According to analysis from Extreme Tech, one major smut site funnels out filth at a rate of 100 gigabytes per second, or 800Gbps. This means that the new underwater pipe could handle about 40 top-ranked grumble merchants at any given time.

The mighty streaming pipe works by using 155 lasers, each working at a different frequency, to carry 200 Gbps across a 50 GHz frequency grid. Researchers claim this "dramatically enhances" the performance offered by current Wavelength Division Multiplexing technology, which is the name of the technique for transmitting a number of optical data-carrying signals along one fibre optic pipe.

Alcatel-Lucent also refined their detection techniques to filter out the signal distortion and noise that plague super-high bandwidth transmission, as well as using their advanced modulation and transmission techniques to further ramp up the speed.

In the past 15 years, Alcatel-Lucent have broken two dozen bandwidth records, which they claim has "transformed long distance data transmission" - even if these great innovations have been used in large part for nothing more edifying than pornography and cats. ®

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