G.fast, which promises to wring fiber-like bandwidth from existing copper infrastructure, got another boost when Telekom Austria's domestic subsidiary A1 collaborated with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) to deliver speeds exceeding 100 Mbps per household to a residential customer.
While G.fast will never replace fiber, it does offer service providers the opportunity to use existing copper while migrating to the richer transmission technology.
G.fast "will enable us to offer urban areas data rates 10 (and) even up to 20 times higher than ever before," said Telekom Austria Group and A1 CEO Hannes Ametsreiter, adding that "fiber-to-the-home remains our long-term vision but we consider G.fast as an intelligent interim solution until fiber will have similar coverage as we have with copper now."
G.fast does have its drawbacks, including a 250-meter limit on the copper connection. The technology, an Alcatel-Lucent press release said, is "particularly best suited for multi-story buildings in cities as copper lines are very efficient over short distances." The press release also said that potential interference to high data transmission speeds are eliminated by G.fast's high data rates, which, on the negative side, require an increased use of computing power.
All the drawbacks, though, are offset by the amount of money a service provider can save by continuing to use existing copper to deliver a competitive broadband service, especially for an MDU.
"With G-fast, fiber is deployed all the way to the basement of a building with the final connection to the single living spaces being made by the copper lines," said Ametsreiter, adding that this saves the cost of rewiring the entire building while delivering fiber-like speeds. "The data rates achieved by G.fast will meet the needs of even the most demanding households over the next 10-20 years."
Vienna, the press release said, is a particularly attractive G.fast market because there are about 400,000 potential customer households in the city. New buildings, of course, are being outfitted with fiber but in tens of thousands of old buildings with only copper infrastructure, G.fast is the best--perhaps only--way to deliver the high-speed broadband consumers want.
- Alcatel-Lucent has this press release
BT achieves 1 Gig rates with G.Fast copper trial, creates new broadband lab
Adtran tackles G.fast, VDSL2 vectoring compatibility with Frequency Division Vectoring technology
TeliaSonera, Huawei conduct G.fast trial in Finland