Quantum Communication Crosses a Sea and a National Border

October 3rd, 2023 by · Leave a Comment

Over in Europe, the nascent technology of quantum communication has crossed another threshold, or more precisely the Irish Sea. A recent set of experiments established a quantum link between two countries and spanning some 224km under the water.

The work was led by the University of York in collaboration with the EPSRC Quantum Communications Hub and euNetworks. The fiber traversed was euNetworks’ Rockabill cable system, which connects cable landing stations in Portrane, just north of Dublin, with Southport, just north of Liverpool. The Rockabill cable is a new one, with low-loss, low latency fiber and no amplification, making it ideal to try such a feat on.

Quantum communication can offer guaranteed security by leveraging the principle of entanglement, sending photons from one place to another in a fragile state that is destroyed if interfered with. The distance across which that can happen has been growing, and this is the first time a quantum link has been established across a national border.

It’s still a long way from commercialization, but every step counts. Highly secure data encryption has many applications across many verticals, although just where quantum technologies can help in a material way first remains unclear.  

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Categories: Metro fiber · Quantum · Security · Undersea cables

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