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Co-venture shows the potential of broadband over copper networks

Alcatel-Lucent and Telekom Austria Group report that they have completed the world's first trial of new technology enabling ultra-fast broadband over existing copper networks, delivering speeds faster than 1 Gbps and demonstrating copper's potential in next-generation broadband access.

A press release said that Alcatel-Lucent and A1, the Austrian subsidiary of Telekom Austria Group, held the world's first trial of an innovation from Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs called G.fast, which uses a wide frequency band to achieve very high speeds on copper lines over very short distances. G.fast, it said, is intended for typical applications of 500 Mbps speeds at 100 meters or less. Under laboratory conditions, Alcatel-Lucent achieved 1.3 Gbps over 70 meters, "making G.fast a promising option for service providers to complement their fiber deployments," it said.

In any fiber-to-the-home project, the release said, a substantial part of the cost-per-subscriber is in the last few meters between the nearest network cabinet and the home. "These costs can be avoided by using G.fast over the existing copper telephone line, rather than having to dig up roads or private property to install new fiber," it said. The key,

it said, is Bell Labs vectoring technology that removes crosstalk, stabilizes transmission quality and enables the technology to perform to its full potential.
The release said that on older unshielded cables, typical of most in-building cabling in Austria, the trial achieved speeds of 500 Mbps over 100 meters on a single line, noting that when a second line was introduced, creating crosstalk between the two, the G.fast speed fell to only 60 Mbps. Through vectoring, the crosstalk was removed, allowing speeds back up to 500 Mbps over 100 m, it said, noting that G.fast, which is not yet standardized, will not be commercially available for several years.

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