Read/write speeds are more important than download rates, if only because who cares how fast your network is if you can’t use it fully. Then we’ve got the University of Central London with some ridiculous transfer rates.

UCL announced that, with amplifiers and moving to a 16.8THz bandwidth, they’ve achieve 178TB/s for data transfer. The reference they point out is excellent: at that speed you can download the entire Netflix library in under a second. And while that seems like overkill to most of us, imagine splitting that rate with 100,000 people and you’d still have 178Mb/s per person.

As we see an increase in data center use, this massive speed increase may be exactly what we need. And UCL states that the cost of upgrading isn’t too expensive (£16,000 per amplifier). Actually upgrading to fiber optic cables can be very pricey however, especially in cities.

But with games like Flight Simulator recommending 50Mb/s to download data straight from Bing maps, this tech is highly welcome. Streaming game services like NVIDIA’s GeForce Now and Google’s Stadia could become a reality for millions of homes across the world, at little to no additional cost. In reality it’ll take years to implement. However, corporate and government use of data will always demand higher speeds. So we may see that change very soon.