Researchers have found a way to significantly improve the performance of fiber networks, which could lead to benefits for both consumers and Internet service providers.
Information in fiber optic cables degrades with the distance it travels. When you try to increase the speed at which the data is traveling by boosting the power in the network, degradation gets worse.
“It’s like quicksand,” said Nikola Alic, a research scientist at the Qualcomm Institute, part of the University of California at San Diego. “The more you struggle, the faster you sink.”
The researchers found a way to manage the distortion in a network as you add power to it. That allows the data to travel longer distances before being reconditioned by a repeater, or electronic regenerator.
The problem with repeaters is they must be applied to anywhere from 80 to 200 data channels. “That can be expensive as well as highly power consuming,” Alic told TechNewsWorld.