ETH Zurich uses laser to create hyper-fast internet connection

ETH Zurich uses laser to create hyper-fast internet connection

Whether it be someone about to win a multiplayer video game or an entrepreneur who has just made the riskiest stock call of their life, everyone wants a stable and laser-fast connection to the internet. Now, it seems as though the boffins at ETH in Zurich have taken that requirement quite literally, creating a device that can provide a super-fast internet connection via laser beam.

ETH Zurich successfully tests internet laser beam on Jungfrau

Speaking to 20 Minuten, a spokesperson from the Swiss university announced that they had successfully tested a laser beam that is able to transmit optical data in the same way as a fibre optic cable - in layperson's terms, the beam can provide a fast, cableless, internet connection. The test involved beaming data between the top of Jungfraujoch and the city of Bern 53 kilometres away.

The latest in a long line of Swiss inventions was able to successfully send 100 terabytes worth of data between the mountain and city every single second. Yannik Horst, lead researcher in charge of the study, told 20 Minuten that the laser should be able to transmit data much faster in future, as when implemented the laser will be pointed upwards towards satellites in the atmosphere and will not have to deal with the interference caused by cities, lakes and other landmarks.

Laser beam WiFi connection to replace deep-sea cables

In future, it is hoped that the technology will replace the massive fibre optic cables that are laid under the sea in order to connect nations to the internet. There are currently 530 large deep-sea cables in the world, with each costing hundreds of millions of francs to instal and maintain.

ETH concluded that the tech will allow information to be sent from ground-based lasers via satellites to places across the world, in what was described as a faster version of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite programme - which made an appearance in the skies above Switzerland last week. For more information about the project, check out the official website.

Thumb image credit: Devteev /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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