Print 32 comment(s) - last by skyyspam.. on Oct 29 at 9:41 PM

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

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 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
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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