NEC Corporation has just announced what it says is a new record for communication using "optical superchannels," which integrate multiple channels with overlapping frequencies into a single high-speed network. NEC's network reached speeds of 1.15Tbps and traveled over 10,000 kilometers; multiple superchannels were also combined for a total speed of 4Tbps.

Superchannels have been in the works for a few years, and NEC's work doesn't look revolutionary — experiments by other groups have been able to reach terabit speeds at up to 10,000 km. However, this advance is a step towards moving the high-capacity, long-distance networks into the mainstream, and may help with the development of terabit ethernet. For now, you'll have to make do with 100Gbps broadband in Washington, DC or 120Gbps in Sweden — not in the same class, but deployed and working.

Image Credit: Andrea Pacelli