G.fast home network standard gets ITU first-stage approval

G.fast, a proposed technology that can theoretically deliver up to 1 Gbps speeds over very short copper loops, has taken another step forward as International Telecommunications Union (ITU) membership reached first-stage approval of the standards.

Besides the speed, the other selling point of G.fast is that consumers can install it themselves without the help of a local technician.

The ITU said that the physical-layer protocol aspects of G.fast defined by Recommendation ITU-T G.9701 "Fast Access to Subscriber Terminals - Physical layer specification" have reached the point of stability required to initiate the standard's approval procedure.

What this means is that silicon manufacturers can ramp up their G.fast chip design and testing efforts. They can then provide the results of this work into ITU-T Study Group 15 with the goal of finalizing the G.fast standard as early as April 2014.

ITU-T G.9701 is on track to achieving final approval in conjunction with ITU-T G.9700, which specifies methods to ensure that any G.fast equipment service providers deploy in the field will not interfere with broadcast services such as FM radio.

Although G.fast is a new standard, it has been designed to coexist with VDSL2, enabling service providers to switch customers between both platforms as needed. Service providers can also use G.fast to complement fiber to the home (FTTH) deployments in cases where G.fast is seen as a more cost effective option.

The ITU's G.fast effort has been coordinated with the Broadband Forum, which has begun developing a testing suite for G.fast systems via its Fiber to the Distribution Point (FTTdp) project. This suite includes test plans for interoperability events, system performance and functional testing.

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