COVID-19 has put pressure on network bandwidth around the world. The need for more data in more places means that networks have their work cut out for them. But we’re not about to buckle under that pressure. Not when a nation depends on us to ferry their bits and bytes around faster and to more places than ever before. Instead, we’ve brought forward critical work to increase the capacity and the speed of our transport network – with some whopping results.

With the help of our friends at Ericsson and Ciena, we’ve been able to improve our optical transmission network (essentially the big pipes that carry internet traffic between data centres and major cities), to deliver speeds of up to 400Gbps between data centres, up from 100Gbps just a year ago.

What this means is more speed for the next-generation of applications, connectivity and technology. The network is geared for 5G, cloud computing, high-definition video streaming and calling, as well as futuristic applications like edge-computing.

And we’re doing it all with lower power and hardware consumption which helps contribute to our carbon emission targets.

By upgrading our optical transmission networks with 400Gbps technology, Telstra will be able to cater for capacity demands of up to 400 per cent of what was previously achievable. The upgrade enables us to rapidly deliver services to customers at scale without fibre builds, decreasing the time to market from weeks, to days.

This work to upgrade our optical transmission network was always on the cards as part of our Networks for the Future program, but we’ve rapidly accelerated the deployment with our partners due to COVID-19. People need more speed and reliability now, and we’re not about to make them wait!

In fact, we’re not even finished yet. Today we stand at 400Gbps transfer speeds between data centres – some at a distance of hundreds of kilometres away. But we’ve already successfully trialled faster and more efficient bandwidth at a speed of 700Gbps over 1000km between capital cities. The work of creating a faster, smarter and more efficient network for Aussies is never done.

Data is one of the world’s most valuable currencies, especially in the age of COVID-19 when workforces are more distributed than ever, online education is more prevalent than ever, and remote connectivity is vital for everything from healthcare to entertainment.

The need for speed over the next decade is very real, and we’re excited to be on the cutting edge for our customers.