The latest development was necessary to allow QKD to scale to large numbers of users, giving it a means of getting beyond today's niche applications, he said.
Advances have been incremental, such as a previous breakthrough that allowed QKD to share an optical fibre with conventional wave division multiplexing optical communications.
QKD's lure remains very strong because it offers a way to harness the principles of quantum physics to send data between users such that any interception or surveillance cannot be hidden as it can today with photo-electronic technologies. The NSA doubtless has a great interest in such systems - as long as nobody else is using them.
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