Bell Labs Sets Broadband Record Over Copper Phone Lines

Using traditional copper phone lines, Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs announced that it has set a new broadband speed record. This could bring gigabit speed to broadband networks that combine fiber with copper. Bell Labs is relying on G.fast, a new DSL standard that promises up to 1Gbps over copper phone lines. Meanwhile, the record-breaking 10Gbps speeds can only be reached over 30 meters, and once it hits 70 meters, top speeds drop to 1Gbps.

news_02_small“Alcatel-Lucent says that 1Gbps upload and download speeds may be possible in the real world over networks that bring fiber to the curbside and rely on copper for the final few meters,” explainArs Technica.

This setup would be similar to AT&T’s U-verse fiber-to-the-node service. However, U-verse tops out at 45Mbps at about 600 to 900 meters from homes.

Alcatel-Lucent also developed an extension of G.fast. 

“When it becomes commercially available in 2015, G.fast will use a frequency range for data transmission of 106MHz, giving broadband speeds up to 500Mbps over a distance of 100 meters,” Alcatel-Lucent said.

“In contrast, XG-FAST uses an increased frequency range up to 500MHz to achieve higher speeds but over shorter distances. Bell Labs achieved 1Gbps symmetrical over 70 meters on a single copper pair. 10Gbps was achieved over a distance of 30 meters by using two pairs of lines (a technique known as ‘bonding’). Both tests used standard copper cable provided by a European operator.”