The transmission capacity of optical fiber is theoretical and cannot be determined using current technology. The advancement in optical fiber transmission capacity has far outpaced advancements in microchip speed and data storage capacity. Optical fibers can transmit more data than current computers can send, receive and store.
As of 2014, experimental optical fiber transmissions using a single fiber over a 240-kilometer distance achieved a transmission rate of 171 gigabits per second. Using wavelength division multiplexing, which allows multiple channels on different wavelengths, 432 channels of data were transmitted to achieve a transmission capacity of 69.1 terabits per second. This experiment by Nippon Telephone and Telegraph of Japan used only a fraction of the wavelengths available in the optical fiber.