500Mbps G.fast gets ITU first stage approval

December 16, 2013 by Bob Yirka report
500Mbps G.fast gets ITU first stage approval
G.fast simulation results over 100-meter lines. Credit: Huawei Technologies

(Phys.org) —G.fast, the 500Mbps successor to DSL and alternative to fiber has passed first stage approval from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The move paves the way for hardware companies to finalize equipment specifications to support the new standard. Final approval of the new standard is expected to come about as early as this April, though it's still not clear how soon customers may be able to sign up for the new service.

As the Internet has matured, applications have grown more data intensive, Ultra HD, for example, will offer 4 or 8K streaming—getting that much data in and out of homes is a monumental task and is currently being served by cable originally designed to carry just television signals or satellite systems—and the latest version of DSL, VDSL2 isn't up to the task. To that end, some have envisioned laying fiber cable to every home and/or business. But that would mean digging a trench for every site, a strategy that would be not only very expensive but would likely take more than a decade to complete. For that reason, engineers have been focusing on a way to allow for fiber-like throughput on copper cables (those used for bringing landline telephone service). The result is G.fast, a standard that calls for 1Gbps over , or more realistically, 500Mbps because G.fast, like DSL, is subject to degradation due to crosstalk.

At issue is what's known in the telecommunications business, as the last mile—the endpoints of a global data network that at some point must make their way into individual homes. Using fiber to create backbones and trunks is relatively simple because there are so few of them—extending the idea to homes would simply use far too many resources. This is what has given rise to G.fast, a standard that owes its increased throughput to operating at much higher frequencies than DSL and to improved noise cancellation techniques. The design originated in 2010 and a prototype was created the following year. Since that time company's such as Sckipio have been working to incorporate the standard into hardware in a way that will be easy for consumers to install and that will also allow for holding onto the DSL standard, making new modems backwards compatible.

While it's not clear when consumers will be able to buy both the service and the new hardware, some hardware makers have hinted that it might, for some markets, be as soon as 2015.

Explore further: Researchers build fiber cable capable of near light-in-vacuum throughput

More information: New ITU broadband standard fast-tracks route to 1Gbit/s: www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/pr … 74.aspx#.Uq8Qw_RDtfe

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5 / 5 (1) Dec 16, 2013
To that end, some have envisioned laying fiber cable to every home and/or business. But that would mean digging a trench for every site
I don't know what century the author lives in, but in the century I live in, trenching has for the most part been replaced by horizontal drilling.
not rated yet Dec 16, 2013
Using fiber to create backbones and trunks is relatively simple because there are so few of them—extending the idea to homes would simply use far too many resources.

And yet that is what telephone and cable companies did with copper, a metal that is now in shorty supply and expensive. And now you're claiming that extending a material composed of the two most prevalent elements in the Earth's crust would use too many resources. In areas where telephone lines or cable are above ground, much of the infrastructure (poles) is already in place. Glass is actually less dense than aluminum, which is far less dense than copper. Granted its tensile strength isn't as great, but plastic sheathing is also not very dense, and fiber optics can transmit more data per unit area cross section, so a fiber-optic cable shouldn't be very heavy. It's also not very conductive, so should be relatively immune to lightning strikes.
1 / 5 (1) Dec 18, 2013
In terms of ROI, it doesn't seem like putting more money into copper is a wise business decision.
1 / 5 (1) Dec 18, 2013
1, Copper requires energy in the form of electricity to carry vs light. No matter what frequency you vibrate energy/copper at it won't move as quickly as light.

2, There are issues with maximum capacity not just speed with fibre delivering something like 10X the amount of capacity (with current tech) as copper.

3, Infrastructure wise, copper is not as flexible or sturdy as fibre, and more costly to install and replace.

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