Alcatel-Lucent sets broadband speed record using copper

10g alcatel-lucent

Might a research heavyweight open a new door to gigabit speed with the use of copper? Alcatel-Lucent on Wednesday said it set a new world record broadband speed of 10Gbps for transmission of data using traditional copper telephone lines. The prime mover of this breakthrough was Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent. What is more, the Labs’ use of a prototype technology, according to the announcement, shows how existing copper access networks can be used to deliver 1Gbps symmetrical ultra-broadband access services.

What do they mean by 1 Gbps symmetrical services? This is where bandwidth can be split to provide simultaneous upload and download speeds of 1 Gbps, and this is treated as a copper broadband breakthrough. Operators will be able to provide Internet connection speeds indistinguishable from fiber-to-the-home services. Not all locations are considered physically, economically or aesthetically viable for laying new fiber cables all the way into residences. This breakthrough would mean that "fiber can be brought to the curbside, wall or basement of a building," said the company, "and the existing copper network used for the final few meters." Ars Technica ran a subhead to its report, worded "Real-world 1Gbps speed possible with fiber-to-the-curb and copper-to-the-home." That subhead relates to a core element of the announcement as not just setting the speed record but also the use of XG-FAST. According to the company, XG-FAST can help operators accelerate FTTH (fiber to the home) deployments, taking fiber very close to customers without the major expense and delays associated with entering every home. This is how the company describes the technology:

"The Bell Labs tests used a prototype technology called XG-FAST. This is an extension of G.fast technology, a new broadband standard currently being finalized by the ITU. When it becomes commercially available in 2015, G.fast will use a frequency range for data transmission of 106 MHz, giving broadband speeds up to 500 Mbps over a distance of 100 meters. In contrast, XG-FAST uses an increased frequency range up to 500 MHz to achieve higher speeds but over shorter distances."

via Alcatel-Lucent sets broadband speed record using copper.


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