ITU Approves G.fast Standard, Should Benefit UHD Streaming

The International Telecommunication Union announced its approval of a new DSL standard that combines fiber and copper to transmit at gigabit speeds. The Broadband Forum industry consortium is testing interoperability of products and has scheduled a trial certification program. Following certification of chipsets and equipment, G.fast implementations are expected to hit the market next year. The standard is seen as a new way to deliver bandwidth intensive applications such as Ultra HD television.

streamingIn a press release yesterday, the Broadband Forum “announced support for the new ITU-T ultra broadband access standard, G.fast, as a new way to deliver bandwidth intensive consumer applications such as 4K Ultra High-Definition TV (4K UHD) and cloud-based consumer applications.”

“The hot new product this holiday season and beyond is 4K UHD TVs,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association. “But consumers need confidence that 4K UHD TV online content distribution services, which are often limited by bandwidth rates, are feasible. G.fast offers a promising way to overcome this challenge.”

According to Ars Technica, G.fast is similar to AT&T’s 45Mbps fiber-to-the-node deployments, but allows for greater speeds. As we reported this summer, G.fast uses fiber to reach neighborhoods, and then copper for the rest of the way to homes.

The ITU points out that G.fast is “designed to deliver access speeds of up to 1Gbps over existing telephone wires.”

“Within 400 meters of a distribution point, G.fast provides fiber-like speeds matched with the customer self-installation of DSL, resulting in cost-savings for service providers and improved customer experience,” explains the ITU.

“Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs developed its own extension of G.fast called XG.FAST and said it could hit 10Gbps over 30 meters of copper and 1Gbps over 70 meters of copper,” notes Ars. “BT is testing service that hits nearly 800Mbps, and Broadcom in October previewed chips for back-end systems and consumer gateways that can push up to a gigabit per second.”