ms writes: "Yesterday golem.de reported that the Optical Communication and High-Frequency Engineering Group at the University of Paderborn (Germany) claims to have made a technology practical which doubles the transmission capacity of optical fibers to 80 GBit/s. In their so-called "polarization division multiplex data transmission system" they don't only send one but two mutually orthogonal light waves through the fiber. They say the only big problem was the dispersal of the light waves which limits the data rate. Additional they had to fight against the phenomena that the polarization direction of the light waves changes while it goes through the fiber. Now, after two years of research, they invented an "automatic optical compensator of polarization mode dispersion" which fights both the limitations. With this gadget they were able to send data at a rate of twice 40 GBit/s (that's 85,899,345,920 Bps) over a test-line of 212 km. And "only the available equipment limited distance and data rate". As we all know, optical fibers build the (cronically overloaded) backbone of our beloved Net. (BTW: That's Net., not .Net!)" Here's the babelfish translation, too.