UK’s UKQN: Testing Quantum Key Distribution with the UK’s Quantum Network. Quantum communications are destined to be the most-secure type of data transfer throughout the globe. China demonstrated this in 2017 with Micius, their quantum-secure communications satellite. Now, the UK has brought together the research and subsequent development of the UK Quantum Network (UKQN).
Early testing will utilize the Coherent One-Way protocol, or COW. The protocol “crudely…encodes a cryptographic key upon a single photon (particle of light).” This data bit, or quantum bit (qubit), is the key to the communication channel’s security. Any attempt to read the code will instantaneously alter the encoded information — the key. Ergo, it will become untrustworthy, unsecure.
CBR Online. Extract. Andrew Lord, who runs BT’s research into Optical Networks and QKD in particular, told Computer Business Review in an emailed comment: “This QKD link is a result of two years of collaboration. It uses installed BT fibre and goes through BT exchanges, meaning that all the equipment involved is commercial-grade.”
He added: “A major first is the combination of optical data and quantum keys – ensuring the data doesn’t swamp the quantum signal is a tough challenge, and we use special filters and optimisation algorithms to achieve it. This network proves that QKD has come of age, and we expect to see it introduced to real networks in the future.”