University in South Africa Set To Install Quantum Cryptography on Municipal Network

Physicists at South Africa's University of KwaZulu-Natal are set to install a quantum communication security solution over the eThekwini Municipality fibre-optic network infrastructure in Durban. The project, implemented by the school's Centre for Quantum Technology, is intended to provide the city with the capabilities to offer quantum security solutions to users of its recently installed fibre-optic network, which provides the public and private sectors across the city with broadband access.

"The QuantumCity project facilitates the rollout of quantum communication security solutions to other clients of the eThekwini Municipal network creating the first Quantum City in the World," said Francesco Petruccione, the head of the research group. The Centre explained in a statement that the security of quantum cryptography is based on the physical principles of quantum mechanics, rather than on the algorithmic procedures of classical cryptography.

The QuantumCity project is being led by the Centre in partnership with Swiss firm id Quantique and Australia-based Senetas, companies that sell both quantum and classical encryption products.

The quantum network consists of four nodes in a municipal area network star configuration linking municipal buildings in three areas of the city.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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