The research team successfully tested just such a link over a 1-mile stretch in Germany, making sure that it took place in an urban environment where the turbulence from taller buildings could theoretically cause chaos.
There’s still a lot of work to be done before this kind of wireless networking is practical. How do you serve a large number of people, and how is data affected by rain or snow? Still, it’s promising. The technology is clearly limited by the challenges of transmitting light, but it could be instrumental to the next generation of last-mile wireless networks.
Instead of having to painstakingly wire homes and offices to achieve multi-gigabit speeds, internet providers could use light-based wireless links for large parts of their network and install cabling only when it’s absolutely necessary.