DOE unveils quantum internet blueprint for U.S.

July 24, 2020 // By Rich Pell
DOE unveils quantum internet blueprint for U.S.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled a blueprint strategy for the development of a national quantum internet.

Outlined in a report, the blueprint provides a pathway to ensure the development of the National Quantum Initiative Act , which was signed into law by President Trump in December of 2018. The nationwide effort outlined in the report, says the agency, is designed to bring the United States to the forefront of the global quantum race and usher in a new era of communications.

A system to communicate using quantum mechanics is believed to represent one of the most important technological frontiers of the 21st century, and, says the agency, scientists now believe that the construction of a prototype will be within reach over the next decade. DOE National Laboratories, universities, and industry met in New York City in February to develop the blueprint, laying out the essential research to be accomplished, describing the engineering and design barriers, and setting near-term goals.

"The Department of Energy is proud to play an instrumental role in the development of the national quantum internet," says U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. "By constructing this new and emerging technology, the United States continues with its commitment to maintain and expand our quantum capabilities."

The DOE's 17 National Laboratories will serve as the backbone of the coming quantum internet, which will rely on the laws of quantum mechanics to control and transmit information more securely than ever before. Currently in its initial stages of development, the quantum internet could become a secure communications network and have a profound impact on areas critical to science, industry, and national security.

One of the hallmarks of quantum transmissions is that they are exceedingly difficult to eavesdrop on as information passes between locations, offering the potential for virtually unhackable networks. Early adopters of such networks could include industries such as banking and health services, with applications for national security and aircraft communications. Eventually, says the agency, the use of quantum networking technology in mobile phones could have broad

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