(E&T) A high-speed quantum communications test link more than 100km long has opened this week between the BT Labs in Suffolk and the Cambridge node of the UK’s new Quantum Network. The test link forms part of the UK Quantum Network (UKQN) being built by the Quantum Communications Hub. This is a collaboration between research and industry, supported by the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme.
Billed as the world’s first commercial-grade quantum test network link, it will enable the testing and demonstration of new quantum technologies. The link 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.