Digital Agenda: OMEGA research project uses light to help achieve higher broadband speeds

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An EU-funded research project has created a system for higher broadband speeds that can connect many more devices in the home. Today, Wi-Fi is the home networking solution everyone uses, but it is unlikely to be able to meet future demands by itself. To ensure, for example, that families could stream multiple movies at the same time, researchers on the “HOME Gigabit Access” (OMEGA) project have developed a network using a combination of power cables, radio signals and light. This technology could ensure that every office and household has enough bandwidth to connect a range of “smart” objects to each other like phones, cars and domestic appliances. The OMEGA project is run by researchers from companies, universities and research institutions in Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. The EU provided €12.41 million of a total budget of €19.13 million.

Using visible and infrared light –similar to that of a TV remote control– the researchers were able to transmit data at up to 280 Mbps over a distance of 10 metres. The data was transferred in two directions between multiple devices, thus creating an infrared network. In a world first, the project team sent data using LED ceiling lighting, increasingly common in many homes. Here to read more.

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