British scientists have just smashed the speed record for an internet connection in a real world environment. They managed to achieve 1.4 terabits per second, which is the equivalent of 44 1080p movies downloaded in a second.

The achievement was made by Alcatel-Lucent and BT who sent the signal from London's BT Tower to the Suffolk Adastral Park research facility. Crucially this was achieved using currenty fibre cable infrastructure.

The speeds were achieved with a "Flexigrid" system that varies gaps between transmission channels. This meant there was a 42.5 per cent increase in the data transmission rate.

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Dr Tim Whitley, head of BT research and innovation, said: "These trials continue that tradition, as we work with Alcatel-Lucent to push the boundaries of fibre technology, allowing us to support the ever increasing bandwidth required by our customers, and deliver new and exciting services which rely on fast, data-hungry applications."

It may be some time until these speeds reach the everyday user but it's exciting to see the possibilities that are on their way.