Big Fat Dave writes "Thanks to research from Japan's Tohoku University, an article at Tech.co.uk wonders if someday the megabit and gigabit classes of net connections will join kilobits in the 'antique tech' bin. By doing some advanced mathematics and 'tweaking' existing network protocols, researchers may be able to enable standard fiber-optic cables to carry data at hundreds of terabits per second. 'At that speed, full movies could be downloaded almost instantaneously in their hundreds. At the heart of the development is a technique already used in some digital TV tuners and wireless data connections called quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). One glance at the Wikipedia explanation shows that it's no easy science, but the basics of QAM in this scenario require a stable wavelength for data transmission. As the radio spectrum provides this, QAM-based methods work fine for some wireless protocols, however the nature of the optical spectrum means this has not been the case for fibre-optic cables ... until now.'"