Last updated on November 1st, 2014 at 10:44 pm
DSL (Digital subscriber line), one of the initial technologies that heralded the era of high-speed Internet, is set to leap into the future, with Broadcom announcing a new technology that will allow speeds of 1 gigabit per second through DSL.
That increase is about 1,000 times the data-transfer speed the technology offered when it debuted in the late 1990s.
The announcement was made at the Broadband World Forum 2014 in Amsterdam on October 21, 2014. The technology is known as G.fast, a standard from the International Telecommunication Union, in which fiber optic cables carry data close to residences, from where copper cables carry the data into homes. The advantage of this technology over pure fiber optic networks is that a lot of the copper has already been laid, providing major savings in time and investment.
G.fast is also being tested by China-based Triductor Technology and Israeli startup Sckipio. The technology should be available in homes by 2016.
“Broadcom is combining the best-in-class ADSL/VDSL/Vectoring and advanced application capabilities of the BCM63138 with the new G.fast DSL standard to deliver the ultimate performance in multi-service, multimedia home gateway solutions,” said Greg Fischer, Broadcom Senior Vice President and General Manager, Broadband Carrier Access. “Service providers and carriers looking to deploy G.fast solutions in early 2015 can leverage this compatible design to easily upgrade to even higher bandwidth data rates for Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and Gigabit-class broadband service offerings,” he added at the forum.
There were 422 million DSL subscribers globally
in 2013, and this number is expected to rise to 480 million by 2018.
This announcement could be the boost that DSL needs to stay ahead of cable companies in the near future. According to Kamalini Ganguly
, analyst at IT and telecom market research firm Ovum, “In many countries, doing nothing is not an option any more in my opinion,” Ganguly said. “In particular, this is true where there is significant coverage and competition from cable companies, who I expect to be embarking on another upgrade over the next few years that will enable them to support 1Gbps services….We are also likely to see some fiber to the home.”
However high-speed DSL networks may still have downsides. Gigabit speeds can only be practical over short distances between broadband providers’ fiber node and the customer. Longer distances lead to degradation in signal quality. BT, the British multinational telecommunications company, has stated that it tested speeds of 786 Mbps over 19 meters of copper and 696 Mbps over 66 meters.
Photo via Flickr user dkpto