100x faster Internet?

The UK Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts has announced £7.2 million (€8.35m) of investment for the Photonics HyperHighway project ‘that could ‘revolutionise’ the Internet.

The six-year project will bring together scientists from the University of Southampton and the University of Essex with industry partners, including BBC Research and Development, to pioneer new technologies that could make broadband Internet 100 times faster. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the project will look at the way fibre optics are used, and develop new materials and devices to increase internet bandwidth.

Announcing the investment during a visit to the University of Southampton Willetts said: “The internet is fundamental to our lives and we use it for a huge range of activities—from doing the weekly food shop to catching up with friends and family. The number of broadband subscribers has grown vastly in the past ten years, and we need to ensure the web infrastructure can continue to meet this demand.

“On top of this, 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.

“The Photonics HyperHighway project has the potential to truly revolutionise the internet, making it much faster and more energy-efficient. The project is also a shining example of the UK’s world-leading role in this area of research, and I look forward to the exciting breakthroughs it will bring.”