The American company Quantum Xchange wants to use unused fiber optic cables for a quantum network with a length of 800 kilometers. Companies must be able to use this channel for quantum key distribution and thus secure communication.
Quantum Xchange has concluded an agreement with network provider Zayo to use the dark fiber of that company for the quantum network. These are fifteen colocation sites in the northeast of the US, which Quantum Xchange can use for its Phio service for quantum key distribution. The first part of the QKD network must be ready by the autumn of this year.
According to the company, this is the first network of this type in the US. It focuses on applications for the financial market, healthcare and other industries that work with sensitive data.
In quantum key distribution, parties exchange keys by means of a quantum channel, for example by sending photons via optical fiber. They use that key for the encryption of communication via a regular channel. The security is based on the no-cloning theorem : if the key is intercepted via a man-in-the-middle attack, this will come to light in any case. There are objections o usability.