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  • Photonics HyperHighway Could Make Internet 100 Times Faster
Feb 2011
SOUTHAMPTON, England, Feb. 16, 2011 — Broadband Internet in the UK could become 100 times faster under the University of Southampton's six-year Photonics HyperHighway project, which recently received a major infusion of government funding.

Photonics HyperHighway will team scientists from Southampton and the University of Essex with industry partners such as Fianium and Oclaro to pioneer new technologies that make the Internet faster and more energy efficient. They will look at the way fiber optics are used and develop new materials and devices to increase Internet bandwidth to cope with ever-increasing music downloads and the use of services such as Internet TV and cloud computing. The project will also help industries such as retail and banking by speeding transaction times.

UK Minister for Universities and Science David Willets announced in late January that the project will receive an investment of £7.2 million (approximately $11.5 million) from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the primary UK government agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences.

"The Internet industry is worth an estimated £100 billion in the UK, so it is in our interest to make it even better for businesses and help boost economic growth," Willetts said.

"Traffic on the global communications infrastructure continues to increase 80 percent year-on-year," said University of Southampton professor David Payne, a fiber optics pioneer is leading the Photonics HyperHighway project. "What this project proposes is a radical transformation of the physical infrastructure that underpins these networks."

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Indicating a capability to deal with a relatively wide spectral bandwidth.
optical fiber
A thin filament of drawn or extruded glass or plastic having a central core and a cladding of lower index material to promote total internal reflection (TIR). It may be used singly to transmit pulsed optical signals (communications fiber) or in bundles to transmit light or images.  
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