Is G.fast about to Pop Out of the Toaster?

G.fast broadband technology might be arriving just in time to save the telcos from further losses of broadband subscribers to the cablecos.

G.fast is an ITU broadband standard that promises fiber-like speeds up to 1 Gbps over existing copper telephone wires as long as 250 meters. We have been told that some initial products — chips and equipment — will be available for telcos to test before the end of this year.

G.fast promises to radically change the speeds that telcos can offer subscribers — and without having the cost and mess of deploying fiber all the way to the residence. Some G.fast backers say that it will postpone by as much as a decade or two the telcos’ need to build all-fiber networks.

The Online Reporter has published over 50 articles about G.fast since the standard first emerged in January 2012. The pace of G.fast’s development has quickened in recent months.

Last week BT, somewhat surprisingly because it has not started deploying it, announced its plans to build a special lab for testing G.fast, with ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei and some unnamed other companies.

 

BT HQ Jul 2014

BT head office at St. Pauls, London

BT said its initial tests of G.fast have shown it’s capable of 800 Mbps down and 200 Mbps up over 19 meter lengths. At 66 meters, it said, it had achieved speeds of around 700 Mbps down and 200 Mbps up. That’s far less than what G.fast is promised to provide when it’s fully developed and fine-tuned: 1 Gbps at distances up to 250 meters.

The first G.fast article we published was about the Israel-based Sckipio that was founded by a number of ex-CopperGate employees specifically to help with the development of the ITU’s G.fast standard and to then get G.fast chips to market before anyone else.

Chipmakers Sckipio, Broadcom, Ikanos, Lantiq and chipmaker/equipment maker Huawei have been involved in the development of the G.fast standard, now 300 pages long, as have telcos BT and Orange (France Telecom) plus equipment makers Alcatel-Lucent, ADTRAN and others.

No chipmaker has yet said when its G.fast chips will be available or when G.fast products will come to market but we expect announcements about some of both by year-end, more likely sooner rather than later.

Broadband Taiwan is being held next week —October 8-11 — in Taipei, Taiwan. See: http://10times.com/broadband-taiwan

The biggest broadband show of them all is the Broadband World Forum that will be held October 21 – 23 in Amsterdam.

They are the…

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