As the world’s internet traffic grows relentlessly, faster data transmission will logically become crucial. To enable telecommunications networks to cope with the phenomenal surge in data traffic as the internet population moves past a billion users, researchers are focusing on new systems to increase data transmission rates and it’s not surprising that the world data transmission record is continually under threat. Unlike records where human physical capabilities limit new records to incremental growth, when human ingenuity is the deciding factor, extraordinary gains are possible. German and Japanese scientists recently collaborated to achieve just such a quantum leap in obliterating the world record for data transmission. By transmitting a data signal at 2.56 terabits per second over a 160-kilometer link (equivalent to 2,560,000,000,000 bits per second or the contents of 60 DVDs) the researchers bettered the old record of 1.28 terabits per second held by a Japanese group. By comparison, the fastest high-speed links currently carry data at a maximum 40 Gbit/s, or around 50 times slower.