University of Southampton

Optical fibres to enable the internet to span the world

50 years ago, the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) received global recognition for inventing one of the world’s first ultra-low loss optical fibres, before pioneering the fibre amplifier that enabled the internet to span the world.

This inspired innovation was recognised by the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2017.

Today, ORC optical fibre inventions navigate airliners, cut steel and are found on the moon, Mars and the International Space Station.

And now, through the development of hollow-core fibres – the next generation of optical fibres – the ORC is bringing data transmission rates within touching distance of the speed of light!

Further reading