India as Spectator of the Quantum Internet
Quantum leap? US plans for unhackable internet may not fructify within a decade, but India is far behind
+ Last week, the US department of energy released a blueprint for a national quantum internet. The project if successful, the government claimed, will ensure a safer and nearly unhackable internet within the next decade. Earlier this year, the University of Chicago, one of the participants in DoEs project, had created a 52-mile quantum loop to transfer subatomic particles.
Besides, the system is not entirely unhackable.”The quantum transmission is unhackable, but end-points are still hackable. The sending and receiver stations are vulnerable, as at those points you are trying to convert the classical signal into the quantum signal or vice versa,” Dr Patel says
+ But developing a point-to-point connection is quite different from creating a network. Dr Apoorva D Patel, one of India’s leading quantum researchers and a professor at Centre for High Energy Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru says that we are still a long way from establishing a network.
“We would need hubs, relays, standard storage and error correction, and all this is still years away.” He also debunks the claims of a quantum internet within a decade. “The 10-year timeline is the government’s hypothesis, not the scientists’ hypothesis” Even if it is developed, the speeds Dr Patel says will be much slower, probably by a factor of thousand, than the regular internet. And this will not improve. So, it will have only limited application.
+ Even worse, India may only be a spectator in this quantum race. “We are far behind in terms of the quantum internet, and much more behind when it comes to quantum computers. We are starting from scratch, and the government will need to do more,” Dr Patel highlights.
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