Quantum Internet Initiatives Around the World
(PrivateInternetAccess.Blog) Efforts around the world are being made to create quantum networks, and ultimately a quantum Internet. It’s interesting how quickly what was regarded by many as extremely speculative work on quantum computing is turning into a practical solution to one of today’s most pressing problems – the preservation of privacy as data is transmitted across networks.
The USA’s DOE’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research hosted a Quantum Internet Blueprint workshop in February this year to define a potential roadmap towards building the first nationwide quantum Internet. The workshop’s report explains: “The quantum Internet’s ability to deliver the ultimate in secure communication would be a central application. While Quantum Key Distribution currently is the main research focus that underpins secure quantum communication, it is the information exchange over a quantum channel – with its ability to detect any interception – that offers the ultimate in secure communication. Early adopters for such future solutions will be found in areas such as national security, banking, and energy delivery infrastructure. . . . ”
The US is not the only country ramping up its efforts to build a quantum Internet. In Europe, there is the European Quantum Internet Alliance. Since the quantum Internet does not exist yet, it is hard to write applications for it. To get around this problem, the European Quantum Intrnet Alliance has created a quantum Internet simulator, called SimulaQron, which is freely available for anyone to download and use:
SimulaQron provides a distributed simulation of several quantum processors, connected by a simulated quantum communication channels. Each local quantum processor is accessible via a server running on classical computer. In the background, SimulaQron will connect these servers using classical communication to simulate the exchange of qubits and the creation of entanglement between distant processors. . . .”
Japan is working on a quantum network that will link 100 quantum devices and 10,000 users around the world. The lead contractor is Toshiba, whose research laboratory in Cambridge has already created a small metropolitan-scale quantum network in the UK, which runs over ordinary fiber optic cables.
China is and has been very active in this area. Back in 2017, it built the Quantum Secure Communication Beijing-Shanghai Backbone Network, the world’s first long-distance quantum-secured communication route. According to Jianwei Pan, professor at the University of Science and Technology of China, and one of the leading researchers in the field of quantum networks, in 2018 there were more than 150 users of the Chinese network. Applications included banking, financial services and insurance.