Firms race to transmit Wall Street data at nearly light speed

Ari Rubenstein, a "Star Trek" fan who counts physics as a hobby, wants to boldly go where Wall Street has never gone before: the speed of light.

Rubenstein heads Strike Technologies, a New York company that's part of a budding cottage industry racing to build networks of ultra-fast microwave radio transmitters linking the world's financial hubs.

It could be the final frontier in the financial industry's tech arms race as the fastest traders scramble to get even faster, and as regulators mull over ways to prevent technology breakdowns on Wall Street. Industry insiders say that some firms are toying with lasers and high-altitude balloons.

Strike, whose ranks include academics as well as former U.S. and Israeli military engineers, hoisted a 6-foot white dish on a tower rising 280 feet above the Nasdaq Stock Market's data center in Carteret, N.J., just outside New York City.

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