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1Gbps over DSL copper lines may be in our future
Realistic connectivity with DSL will be in the 390Mbps range

Broadband speeds for internet users in America are often woeful in comparison to the speeds found in other countries around the world. The FCC is working hard to get faster broadband connections all around the country, especially to the poor and those that live in rural areas.

Vendors are also working hard to increase the speed of our web connections using existing methods while other firms work on faster speeds with new technology like fiber optic and wireless connectivity. Today, the majority of fixed-line internet is served by copper cables that have been around for decades.

As various vendors that make the hardware that allows broadband over cable wires using DSL technology make technological breakthroughs, the speeds consumers can get are growing. Nokia Siemens recently announced that it could transmit data at up to 825Mbps using copper wires for a distance of 400 meters. Huawei has also announced that it has been able to transmit data at up to 700Mbps over the same distance.

The fastest speeds in tests have been from Alcatel-Lucent with the ability to send data at 910Mbps over 400 meters. These fast speeds are achieved using different methods. One of the methods reports
PC World is VDSL2 (Very high bit-rate digital subscriber Line) that sends data over several copper pairs at one time. The VDSL2 method also uses DSL Phantom Mode to create a third virtual copper pair to send more data over along with the two copper pairs.

Phantom Mode reportedly causes crosstalk that the vendor then has to eliminate using noise canceling tech very similar to the tech used by noise canceling headphones. The tech monitors noise on the copper pairs continuously and generates its own signal to cancel the noise out. The vendors getting some of the highest speeds are using copper wire with four pairs inside, but that wiring is not readily available making the dual pair approach more realistic. 

Sending data across two copper pairs is good for data speeds up to 390Mbps over 400 meters and vectoring can increase that distance to 1,000 meters. Products using these new techniques are starting field trials with providers now and should be in the commercial space for consumers next year.

Fiber optic web connections are already available at 1Gbps speeds in some areas.



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Brilliant, just what we need...
By wolrah on 10/27/2010 10:48:51 AM , Rating: 5
More reason for lazy telcos to keep us on decades-old copper rather than just going for it and rolling FTTP.

I'm sure this would also be hampered by that PPPoE garbage if it ever sees real-world deployment, and you know the telcos will only support modems that are also terrible routers rather than just giving us a straight modem that something set to DHCP can be plugged in to and get a proper routable IP address like it should work.

In theory DSL is a fine technology, but I have never once seen an implementation of it that didn't make me want to cause physical harm to the telco.




By TheRequiem on 10/27/2010 10:52:29 AM , Rating: 3
Agreed.


RE: Brilliant, just what we need...
By theapparition on 10/27/2010 11:08:12 AM , Rating: 2
How many people live within 400 meters of a central office either, or 1000 meters?

This is just lab tech that will no doubt improve current DSL offerings, but by the time that happens, Fiber will be pushing true 1Gbps and beyond.


RE: Brilliant, just what we need...
By Hyperion1400 on 10/27/2010 1:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
It's not you distance to the office that matters, it's your distance to the callbox. Which, if I remember correctly, is >3 kilometers for almost all DSL subscribers. Once your signal reaches the callbox it's almost unimpeded at that point until it reaches the central office.

Now, even though a bunch of people most likely live outside the 1k boundary, I have no doubt that telco's could offer a scaled down version of this service(say on the order of 100mbps) to those living on the outside of the 1k boundary.


RE: Brilliant, just what we need...
By wempa on 10/28/2010 12:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of whether it's the CO or the callbox, the fact that DSL is so distance-sensitive is a major issue. Back when it first came out in NJ and I looked into it, I found that I was like 20000 feet away and therefore, unable to get the service. I had to wait a while longer before cable modems became available in my area.


RE: Brilliant, just what we need...
By jimhsu on 10/27/2010 3:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, 400 meters! Now I can get DSL within a block of my telco ... nvm.

The problem with copper based DSL is not the theoretical bandwidth (we've got plenty of that, as shown here), but the attenuation. Sending things over questionable copper metal wires is not good for data integrity or bandwidth. Coaxial improves things a bit more (hence cable speeds), fiber improves things a lot more.

Please upgrade your technology, guys.


RE: Brilliant, just what we need...
By jimhsu on 10/27/2010 3:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
PS My last DSL connections were 12000 and 14000 feet away from the nearest CO, respectively. And this is in an URBAN part of town (in Houston). I guess you can imagine how much speeds sucked.


RE: Brilliant, just what we need...
By Ammohunt on 10/28/2010 2:39:58 PM , Rating: 1
it ain't going to happen overnight you know how expensive it is to lay fiber into urabn areas with no guarantee on ROI? why do you think rural areas don't have decent internet the expense outweights the return. To be successful it would have to be subsidized by the government So after you are done paying for all the hookers, green fees and lavish vacations for the Government workers on such a project you are still looking at billions and decades before its complete.


RE: Brilliant, just what we need...
By Jeffk464 on 10/27/2010 7:43:15 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed, my dad has fios and it is pretty damn fantastic.


RE: Brilliant, just what we need...
By bill4 on 10/28/2010 12:41:24 AM , Rating: 2
I dont get the big deal about Fios when it seems the standard package is 30 Mbps.

I mean, I get 10 Mb on my standard cable, many people get 20+ Mb/s over cable, and my cable company recently started offering 107 Mb/s packages. Over standard cable. Granted $120 a month right now.

I mean you'd just think Fios should be at least 500 Mb/s or something, not 30...what's the point of fiber if you can get higher speeds over a cable line?


By angryplayer on 10/28/2010 2:29:24 AM , Rating: 2
Because fibre already has the capability to carry multiple-Gbit. Sure a 2-lane road can hold 100,000 cars, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't build a highway so those cars can actually move.

Copper as a medium will eventually hit a cap. There's only so much bandwidth you can shove down a 1mm copper wire. Transceivers (signal sensitivity) will eventually hit a point where they become more expensive to develop than simply plugging in fibre.


RE: Brilliant, just what we need...
By rett448 on 10/28/2010 2:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
We recently switched from cable internet over to FIOS and I can say the difference is very noticeable. Our cable service was 16/2 but we averaged in the low 20s on speedtest.net. When we switched to FIOS we got a 25/25 connection. This does not mean “up-to”, I consistently 25+ no matter what time of day it is. I am usually able to max out both the upstream and downstream at about 30 simultaneously.

Verizon deployed a GPON network which has up to 32 people per node. Each node gets 2.4Gb down and 1.2Gb up, which means they could sell a 75/37.5 connection without over subscribing anybody. I think we will see FIOS speeds increase in the future but right now I have trouble maxing out the connection; even with large downloads, netflicks/hulu streaming, and bit torrent.


RE: Brilliant, just what we need...
By bill4 on 10/28/10, Rating: -1
By jeffbui on 10/27/2010 10:59:29 AM , Rating: 2
I have never had a reliable DSL connection. I'm not sure whether it's old phone lines, filters, or voice communication but it's never 100%.

With everyone switching to mobile phones they should offer an option to optimize the connection for broadband. I can't think of how benefit them financially so I doubt that will ever happen.




By ICBM on 10/27/2010 1:26:47 PM , Rating: 3
They do, its called a dryloop DSL line or naked DSL. Good luck trying to tell the person on the phone that. The way they validate your distance is with a phone number, so its like why offer it if you can't get validated. We had to use the phone number of our neighbor for them to do the initial validation, and that distance was so far off, we were initially put on a slow plan.


By StevoLincolnite on 10/28/2010 1:22:32 AM , Rating: 2
Problem with Naked ADSL is that it still doesn't use the bandwidth typically utilized for voice, so whilst it may be cheaper in the end... You don't gain any improvement in speed.

ADSL can reach to over 6km's depending on the quality and gauge of the copper wiring, here in Australia our DSL providers seem to offer a bit more flexibility, I have a friend who is getting ADSL at a distance of 8km's, the speed isn't exactly stellar, however it shows it is achievable.

However, these new DSL technologies are great and all, but it's only a small percentage of people that would be able to get the speed, the farther you go from the exchange the more people there are.

Fiber is the only real solution, the copper phone line was never designed with broadband technologies in mind, or we can always start placing Nods/Rims everywhere to extend ADSL's reach.


Look, Guys...
By mmatis on 10/27/2010 11:38:57 AM , Rating: 1
even at 10 Gbps, neither Seven of Nine nor T'Pol is gonna reach out of that holodeck and hand it to you. You're gonna have to continue to do that yourself. So quit your whining!




RE: Look, Guys...
By FITCamaro on 10/27/2010 12:17:13 PM , Rating: 2
This came out of....where?


RE: Look, Guys...
By Anoxanmore on 10/27/2010 2:12:04 PM , Rating: 2
He was turned down by both women in his fantasies. ;)


RE: Look, Guys...
By mmatis on 10/27/2010 3:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
You ALL know the primary reason for the Internet is porn. And this IS a tech web site. Get real! Let those guilt feelings go already...


Who gives a $hit?
By XZerg on 10/27/2010 11:28:20 AM , Rating: 5
sorry but my biggest issue with the ISPs is that they either have tiny cap after which you pay hefty tag per GB or throttle the speed after that tiny cap is surpassed. So what good is this speed?

Instead they ought to work on their infrastructure to allow higher cap. I can easily hit 60GB cap watching streaming videos in matter of 10 or 15 days.

I feel such caps prevent users from fleeing to streamers from the TV channels providers.




RE: Who gives a $hit?
By bill4 on 10/28/2010 12:57:46 AM , Rating: 1
Tiny cap? Where do you live?

Most ISP's have no caps. Including mine (suddenlink), and the nations largest, Time Warner.

The other major provider with a cap is comcast, and it's an absurdly high 250 GB.

What ISP do you have with a 60GB cap? And what exactly "streaming video" are you watching?

Basically unless you're a huge pirate running multiple dozens of torrents of illegal material 24/7, you will never come close to any reasonable cap. And even then, those pirates are horders, downloading huge amounts of video they will never watch. NOBODY can possibly have enough hours in the day to watch 250 GB's of content in a month, and do much of ANYTHING else.

I'm on the net more than almost ANYBODY. Probably literally an average of 16 hours a day 4+ days a week. I watch a ton of streaming webcam sites (blogtv, stickam, ustream, etc), youtube, and the like. I got a program that tracks your bandwidth usage once out of curiosity. Turns out with the INSANE amount I use the internet, I used about 45 GB's that month.

Basically most people who exceed bandwidth caps disgust me. They're basically hording pirates with no jobs, and thats IT. The FACT is no reasonable person can even come CLOSE to any of these caps.

Another example is my phone...I have ATT's 2GB a month package. That's the same as unlimited for me. Despite that I do a decent amount of 3G websurfing, I rarely exceed 200 MB a month.

Granted a phone and a PC are different, but it should give you an idea what a ridiculous amount of data even 60GB is.


With AT&T but....
By ICBM on 10/27/2010 1:22:18 PM , Rating: 2
We have a 6Mbps line from AT&T and it has been incredibly stable for years. We are in a small town, and we had to fight to get DSL here in the first place. For the new tech to ever filter down to smaller towns looks bleak. Small and rural towns just don't interest telcos at all. Heck we are lucky to even have regular DSL, as most of the towns around us don't have that. BTW cable modem is not even an option, as everyone is using satellite for tv. Our cable company doesn't offer digital cable, and has been offering the same 36 channels for the past 20 years.

I thought our best bet would be using 3G or 4G, however that is a joke as well. Verizon and Sprint offer 3G everywhere, and I was hoping 4G would be similar. However apparently the 4G plans seem to mimic AT&T's 3G of only offering it bigger cities. Our AT&T coverage is 2G only here still. So we are stuck in the same boat, wired or wireless.

I am grateful for our 6Mbps, but don't have any hopes of faster speeds in the next 10 years.




RE: With AT&T but....
By ICBM on 10/27/2010 1:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I forgot to mention, to even get the 6Mbps plan was an enormous pain. I ended up having to talk to the vice president of the region to have them validate the proper wire distance we were from the CO. Their validation sucks, and they have shrunk the coverage, so only the center of town is even able to get a meager 768kbps.


RE: With AT&T but....
By gfredsen on 10/27/2010 7:36:21 PM , Rating: 2
Geez, I was going to post, but ICBM said it all for me, just substitute Embarq Century Link for AT&T..though Century Link continues to provide good service at 5megs. It just took half a dozen tech visits over two years.


By undummy on 10/27/2010 9:39:09 PM , Rating: 3
I have no problem with NOT rolling out fiber. I do live in a FIOS area and have seen the problems that it is plagued with. Over the years, my cable and DSL service has been more reliable than my neighbors FIOS!

There are many areas without the population per square mile to support fiber. Don't ever expect it there. Why else would Verizon sell off so many states? If customer per square mile is low, copper or cable are your only choices. Quit dreaming for more.

Copper is everywhere(almost) and can be updated. Get DSL to the areas that are still stuck on dial up should be a priority. Bump the speed of DSL as the technology allows. There are too many areas that will never get fiber or cable. But, we can get them covered with DSL quick enough.

Satellite is too expensive.




Move to korea
By Nik00117 on 10/28/2010 12:45:10 AM , Rating: 1
I got a 500 Gig cap on a 100 MB line $25 a month.




RE: Move to korea
By skyyspam on 10/29/2010 9:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
100Mbit up/down, unlimited monthly, get about 6.5MB down, 8MB up average (oh, the horror).

Service Name: Hikari Premium Family
Paid Date: 2010-08-21
Paid Amount: 24.15 -USD-

I love Japan. :) The USA is horribly behind the times.


By jah1subs on 10/27/2010 12:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
I used AT&T DSL for six months from December 2009 to June 2010 for a new job because they wanted to save money. I only paid for 768Kbps service downstream because of this. After I started up with them, AT&T told me that they could only supply 384kbps service downstream. I am apparently 20,000 feet from the central office because of their convoluted/tortuous routing even though it is about 10,000 feet on a straight line path.

More recently, I got a new job and tried to get service back with AT&T. They said NO, they will not put any new (even returning) customers on DSL in my area. So I went to Comcast and am using their normal service (6-8Mbps downstream with double that in bursts).




400 Meters
By btc909 on 10/28/2010 2:02:04 AM , Rating: 2
Oooo WOW 1200 feet from the CO (Central Office) emmmm well that isn't going to work for me & how many others? With this low number you will only see these hyper speeds if you are close to the CO. Just like ADSL.




You sir are an idiot
By norjms on 10/28/2010 8:16:53 AM , Rating: 2
Hitting a 2 gig cap on your cell phone too difficult for you try streaming a"few" netflix videos to your phone. And as for us damn pirates that are downloading more video than we could ever watch. Well the average blu-ray rip I grab is 10ish gb that is only 25 movies a month for a family of five. Yes a 250gb cap can be hit you moron. I average 400gb per month and my isp doesn't seem to care.




By createcoms on 10/28/2010 12:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
In New Zealand we've got an aggressive deployment that's more than half-completed where the DSLAM is in a cabinet only a few hundred metres down the road for most people in their suburb.

This technology would be perfectly suited to our FTTN setup. And with Alcatel mixing VDSL and GPON in the same subrack the fibre can be deployed for those who are beyond the reach of the high rate VDSL2.




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