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how much can those backbone of the internet carry?

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All you need to do is change the transmitter and reciever end, no
change to the actual undersea cable is needed.

Currently, Nortel Networks offers DWDM on the same fiber yielding a
composite, multi-channel, bandwidth of 6.4 terabits per second.

The 1.3 micron wavelength used in communications has a frequency of
about 230 TeraHertz. At 8 bits per baud this would be 1.84 Petabits
per second.

a 56 kilobit per second modem achieves over 16 bits per baud
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