Moore’s law is a pretty amazing occurence.
“Moore’s law” is the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.
Check out what a researchers in Florida have been up to. They have made a fiber optic cable that utilizes multi-core fibers to bring 255 Terabits per second to reality. That’s fast enough to run the existing internet
They accomplished this by banding the fibers in an existing cable. As it stands, the entire internet backbone consists of single-mode glass and plastic fiber. These fibers can only carry one mode of light — which, in essence, means they can only carry the light from a single laser. (It’s a bit more complex than that, but it’s beyond the scope of this story to explain it any further.) You can still use wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) to push insane amounts of data down a single fiber (a few terabits), but we will eventually run up against the laws of physics.
Eventually, multi-mode fiber will most likely replace the internet’s current single-mode backbone — but considering such an upgrade would require millions of miles of new multi-core cabling, and lots of new routing hardware to handle the multi-mode connections, we’re talking very long-term here. Still, with internet traffic continuing to grow at an alarming rate — mostly fueled by the popularity of streaming video, and smartphones and tablets bringing billions more people online — it’s nice to know that we now have the necessary technology to make sure that we don’t run out of bandwidth any time soon.