BT has announced an expansion of its partnership with Toshiba to launch the first commercial trial of a quantum-secured network to connect two sites in London.
The test of quantum key distribution (QKD) will be run by professional services group EY over BT's Openreach fibre network with Toshiba providing the QKD equipment and key management software.
QKD technology allows parties sending and receiving data to share a random secret key using photonics, with security properties based on the laws of quantum mechanics. This includes the fact that observation of a quantum system changes the system so that if a third party attempts to observe the data during transit, the security system will be alerted, aborting the transfer and warning both the sender and receiver.
The test will see EY use the quantum network to communicate between two of its sites in London, one at London Bridge and the other at Canary Wharf. It is expected that quantum technology will be capable of processing data at a rate millions of times faster than traditional supercomputers in the near future.
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