(WSJ) A group led by the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Chicago plans to develop a nationwide quantum internet that could be functional in about a decade and with the potential to securely transmit sensitive information related to national security and financial services.
“What we’re moving forward on is building out quantum networks [to] someday…turn into a full second internet, a parallel internet to the digital internet,” said Paul Dabbar, the Energy Department’s Under Secretary for Science.
The users of a quantum internet could include organizations that handle significant amounts of highly sensitive data and are traditionally vulnerable to cyberattacks, such as the financial services industry and government agencies in charge of national security.
“A quantum network, because of physics, is by definition completely secure,” Mr. Dabbar said.
The government’s involvement in the development of the quantum internet mirrors the history of the internet, whose precursor was the ARPANET that the U.S. Defense Department developed in 1969. Commercial use of the internet became widespread about 20 years later.