EC Anoints 3 Broadband Technologies: FTTb/p, G.fast from Distribution Points & DOCSIS 3.1

– Wants Technologies that Are 100 Mbps Now & Upgradeable to 1 Gbps

– Left off the EC’s List: VDSL Vectoring, G.fast from Street Cabinets, XG-Fast & DOCSIS 3.0

The goal of the European Commission (EC) is for each residence in the EU to have access to a broadband technology that can provide 100 Mbps now and that can be upgraded to 1 Gbps. It has now weighed in on which wireline broadband technology telcos and cablecos will do that and which it would like to see deployed to 87% of EU residences by 2025. The three are:

– FTTB/P (fiber-to-the-building/premises)

– G.fast from distribution points near buildings – but not G.fast from street/neighborhood cabinets

– DOCSIS 3.1

Fiber to the premises is still considered the gold standard for broadband – although supporters of DOCSIS 3.1 say it has the speed potential of all-fiber networks. Fiber-to-the-building (typically MDUs) needs another broadband technology to connect the residence to the fiber – such as G.fast or DOCSIS.

The EC announcement is a major win for cablecos because the EC has largely ignored their contributions to broadband access – even though they lead the way in the States in both market share and average speed. Cablecos have said European regulators have overlooked their actual and potential contribution to European broadband targets.

G.fast is now officially recognized by the EC. It’s a major win for G.fast, which despite being much, much less widely deployed than DOCSIS, is on the mind of every telco in the European Union. The fact that it made the EC list shows how important it has become to European telcos although none of them have announced full rollouts. Oddly the telco that has been the most publically vocal about G.fast and has deployed it more widely than other telcos is BT, whose country will soon no longer be an EU member.

Missing from the EC’s list are two broadband technologies – vectoring although vectoring is included in G.fast and XG-Fast, which Nokia’s Bell Labs is taking the lead role in developing and which several European telcos are testing.

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