A new system developed in Australia can transmit data 12 million times quicker than the fastest NBN connection.

It can transmit data at an incredible 1.2 petabits per second.

The dramatic improvement in speed was enabled by a coupler developed by scientists from the Macquarie University Photonics Research Centre, with fibres and transmission systems jointly developed in Japan.

The 4-core 3-mode fibre is almost the same width as existing standard optical fibres but can transmit 12 times as much data per second.

Its narrower diameter means it is less prone to damage and can easily be cabled and connected using existing equipment, resulting in significant cost-savings over other types of fibres.

The fibre has applications in transmitting data between data centres, metropolitan networks, or undersea communications cables, with the ability to smoothly accommodate traffic for big data and 5G services.

“The world’s insatiable demand for data means that we are approaching a ‘capacity crunch’ and need to find new ways to transport ever-larger volumes,” said Dr Simon Gross from the Macquarie Photonics Research Centre.

“This technology promises a solution to the bottleneck created by existing optical fibres. For the first time, we have created a realistic and useable-sized fibre which is resilient and can transport huge amounts of data.

“It also represents a big cost saving over installing the 12 standard optical fibres you would need to transport the same volume of data.”