February 20, 2015
The 10X Ultrabroadband Copper Challenge
Digital Subscriber Line technology has democratized broadband access, and over the past several decades, telecommunications providers have evolved from providing plain old telephone service (POTS) over a copper loop plant to providing broadband access and high-definition video over hybrid fiber-copper networks. This article focuses on three revolutionary copper technologies in different stages of development that will enable hybrid networks to continue to increase data-rates over orders of magnitude for many years to come. The first of the three, vectoring, is a mature technology with massive ongoing rollout that provides end user speeds above 100 Mb/s over typical distances of 500m. The second, G.fast, is the first ultrabroadband technology offering 1 Gb/s speeds, over typical distances of 100m. It has recently gained approval in the standards bodies and is currently undergoing trials both in research labs and in the field by numerous telecom operators. Finally, we discuss Bell Labs' XG FAST technology, now in proof of concept, which can deliver 10 Gb/s over a 30 meter copper drop, paving the way for a homes-passed fiber network to increase its homes-connected with high speed copper to the premises.