BT announced today that the UK celebrates a milestone in the development of ultra-secure quantum networks with the opening of the world’s first commercial-grade quantum test network link between the BT Labs in Suffolk and the Cambridge node of the UK’s new Quantum Network.
The new high-speed link will enable testing and demonstration of new quantum technologies such as Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) which are expected to play a central role in future communications systems worldwide. This will include trials of how these technologies can be used to secure critical and sensitive data across vertical industry sectors such as healthcare, banking, defence and logistics.
The link forms part of the UK Quantum Network (UKQN) being built by the Quantum Communications Hub, a collaboration between research and industry, supported by the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme. It uses over 125km of standard BT optical fibre between Cambridge and Adastral Park, with BT Exchanges acting as ‘trusted nodes’ along the route. The link will carry both quantum and non-quantum traffic; the QKD technique shares data encryption keys via an ultra-secure quantum channel over the same fibre that carries the encrypted data itself.
The network was built by the core partners of the Quantum Communications Hub – BT, and the universities of Cambridge and York. Support for the development was provided by ID Quantique and ADVA Optical, who supplied the QKD systems and optical transmission equipment, and the system-specific expertise required to integrate it.
“Quantum communications technologies are starting to play a significant role in securing our data and communications. They add security to both backbone and access networks, in an era where the quantum computer will render vulnerable much of today’s cryptography” declares Dr. Grégoire Ribordy, CEO and co-Founder of IDQ. “We are proud to work with British Telecom and its partners; this is a key achievement for both our companies.”
BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.
For more information, visit www.btplc.com.
About the UK Quantum Communications Hub
The Quantum Communications Hub is a technology research and development consortium of UK Universities, private sector companies and public sector stakeholders, funded by the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme. The overall vision of the partnership is to develop quantum secure communications technologies for new markets, enabling widespread use and adoption – from government and commerce through to consumers and the home.
About the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. EPSRC is the main funding body for engineering and physical sciences research in the UK. By investing in research and postgraduate training, they are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Their portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research they fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future UK prosperity by contributing to a healthy, connected, resilient, productive nation.
ADVA is a company founded on innovation and focused on helping our customers succeed. Our technology forms the building blocks of a shared digital future and empowers networks across the globe. We’re continually developing breakthrough hardware and software that leads the networking industry and creates new business opportunities. It’s these open connectivity solutions that enable our customers to deliver the cloud and mobile services that are vital to today’s society and for imagining new tomorrows. Together, we’re building a truly connected and sustainable future.
For more information on how we can help you, please visit www.advaoptical.com
Catherine Simondi – Corporate Communications & PR
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