TeraBeam Promises Fiber-Optic Bandwidth Through Thin Air

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Right now the biggest bandwidth, short of a Lockheed SR71 Blackbird spy plane barreling at Mach 3 and loaded with DVDs, is flickering light flashed over fiber optic cabling. That's the current backbone for delivering fast Internet connections, and corporations around the world are spending billions laying fiber optic cables across oceans and inside new office buildings. But what if you don't need the cables after all?

A little-known start-up company called TeraBeam has vaulted to prominence in the last week with a new technology that may make it possible to deliver fast optical connections through the air. The company first raised eyebrows last week when the head of AT&T's mobile phone business resigned to become TeraBeam's CEO, just weeks before AT&T was ready to spin off the division in a giant IPO. Today the D.C.-based TeraBeam unveiled details about its "fiberless" system for transmitting gigabits per second without wiring. MORE >>