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January 29, 2011

Photonic Hyper-highway broadband research gets £7.2m

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by Darren Allan

The government is giving funding to the tune of £7.2 million to the “Photonic Hyper-highway” project which is based at Southampton university.

The university’s Optoelectronics Research Centre is running the scheme, which aims to make broadband access over fibre no less than 100 times faster.

The idea of the project is to remove bottlenecks in the current broadband infrastructure, the Telegraph reports. The team’s plan is to replace the heavy duty electronic switches which route packets across the net (converting from and back to light), with photonic switches which can directly pipe the packets.

All this is part of the strategy to avoid the so-called “capacity crunch”, which a scientist at the university of Southampton highlighted a few months back.

This is when we reach the “ultimate capacity” of the UK’s broadband network, as more people get online, and use the net for more intensive activities such as movie streaming. And the whole thing starts to fall over…

Story link: Photonic Hyper-highway broadband research gets £7.2m

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