The research addresses the problem of current internet infrastructure's inability to support independent development and innovation at physical and network layer functionalities and supporting the increasing bandwidth demands of changing and diverse applications simultaneously.

"Hardware and software technologies reported in this paper can potentially revolutionise optical network infrastructure the same way that Google Android and Apple iOS did for mobile phones," said researcher Reza Nejabati.

He is reader in optical networks of the high performance networks (HPN) group in the University of Bristol's Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

"These technologies will hide complexity of optical networks and open them up for traditional programmers and application developers to create new type of internet applications taking advantages of speed of light," Nejabati added.