Shaw Communications has laid claim to the fastest data service in Canada with the launch of the nation's first 100 Gbps fiber-optic network.

Shaw has been pushing the envelope on its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and RFoG strategies ever since it launched four trials last year. Shaw was also the first provider in Canada to trial Gigabit Internet in April of last year through FTTH.

One of the trials included a Gigabit Internet tier in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. The recent launch followed a field trial over a 350-kilometer network between Calgary, which is where Shaw's headquarters is located, and Edmonton.

The 100-gig network, which is provisioned by Alcatel-Lucent, has the capability of carrying up to 88 100 Gbps channels over a single pair of fibers. The end result is a network able to handle up to 133 million voice calls or 440,000 HDTV channels, or transmit 44 Blu-ray discs in one second. The new network is 100 times faster than Shaw's existing fiber-optic network.

"People are demanding more from their Internet experience, and as a leader in broadband Internet, Shaw continues to upgrade to bring Canadians the best Internet experience," said Peter Bissonnette, president of Shaw Communications. "The launch of this fiber-optic network allows us to lay the foundation in delivering a new Internet experience for our customers."