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Alcatel-Lucent Boosts Broadband Over Copper To 300Mbps

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the greased-lightning dept.

Networking 160

alphadogg writes "Alcatel-Lucent has come up with a way to move data at 300Mbps over copper lines. So far the results have only been reproduced in a lab environment — real products and services won't be available for at least a year. From the article: 'Researchers at the company's Bell Labs demonstrated the 300Mbps technology over a distance of 400 meters using VDSL2 (Very high bitrate Digital Subscriber Line), according to Stefaan Vanhastel, director of product marketing at Alcatel-Lucent Wireline Networks. The test showed that it can also do 100Mbps over a distance of 1,000 meters, he said. Currently, copper is the most common broadband medium. About 65 percent of subscribers have a broadband connection that's based on DSL, compared to 20 percent for cable and 12 percent for fiber, according to market research company Point Topic. Today, the average advertised DSL speeds for residential users vary between 9.2 Mbps and 1.9Mbps in various parts of the world, Point Topic said.'"

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VDSL2 (3, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935038)

It looks like they doubled the speed at 1km.

VDSL2 deteriorates quickly from a theoretical maximum of 250 Mbit/s at 'source' to 100 Mbit/s at 0.5 km (1640 ft) and 50 Mbit/s at 1 km (3280 ft), but degrades at a much slower rate from there, and still outperforms VDSL. Starting from 1.6 km (1 mile) its performance is equal to ADSL2+.

I have tried to get a VDSL2 for a few times during the past 5 years, but the prices are high and availability really bad. Even 100 Mbit/s fiber is a lot more common. ISP's also always responded that I live too far away from the center, even while it really was only about 1-1.5km (but that would had got me "just" 50 Mbit/s anyway, now with this 100 Mbit/s)

The nice thing about VDSL2 is that unlike ADSL, it's symmetric. The 300Mbps over a distance of 400 meters is damn good too, but theres no centers in every corner.

Re:VDSL2 (3, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935372)

Yes there are, AT&T U-Verse is typically done over distances between 400m-1km (the max distance for availability is 2500ft or 762m)

Re:VDSL2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31936888)

The 300Mbps over a distance of 400 meters is damn good too, but theres no centers in every corner.

Then you replied that:

Yes there are, AT&T U-Verse is typically done over distances between 400m-1km (the max distance for availability is 2500ft or 762m)

So I'll just point out (again) that unless you have a center within 400 meters you're not getting any 300megabit connection over any DSL line. Between the 400 and 1km distance you aren't going to get anything advertised over 50, and more than likely in most parts of the country they won't try to run it more than 25megabit. Remember that the 300megabit under 400m is in lab conditions, not real-world conditions, and is the maximum. Once you start dealing with real plant, you're usually lucky to sustain more than half the maximum rate.

Re:VDSL2 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31935376)

I agree. []

Re:VDSL2 (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935390)

Unless we implement net neutrality rules, all we'll end up with is a really fast connection to Disney/Warner anyway.

Re:VDSL2 (2, Interesting)

Kirijini (214824) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935730)

Net Neutrality? [] You mean, Open Access. []

Network neutrality means ISPs being neutral about the content flowing through their pipes. Open access means owners of the pipes allowing others to provide internet service on that infrastructure for a fee.

But man, what an idea... imagine a world where the pipe owners competed for ISPs as customers, and ISPs competed for subscribers...

Re:VDSL2 (2, Interesting)

umghhh (965931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936408)

I am an ignorant in these matters I admit but to me it seems there are situations in which either there is no competition (high barriers to entry) or ones where competitors exist but they do not have to compete because change between them is impossible, cumbersome or made so expensive that such change is not feasible. Some of those situations are called natural monopolies. Of course free market freaks (FMF) would not accept even that such term describes existing situation but closer look at the reality proves that they do exist, do well and make people suffer high prices if not worse. Even bigger anathema to FMF is the way to help customers in such situations which include market regulation and in some case 'socialism' of (usually local) government providing the service itself. It works for water companies where there is not a single proof that privatization without regulation actually works and provides better service. In my view it may be the same for ISPs. In Germany former monopolist is obliged to provide last mile to the competitors for a limited price. This made the market really competitive and surprisingly some people (quite high in numbers actually) chose to go back after tasting what the competition has in store. Of course DT (Deutsche Telekom) would not lower the prices or work on quality and customer service if it was not forced to. Hence the regulation was needed and achieved its goal. I laugh every time when I think about my (Internet) experience in UK and read about how fancy the networks are in US.

Could this be that there is a lesson here?

Re:VDSL2 (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937298)

That's interesting, umghhh. I didn't know about the last mile in Germany.

Re:VDSL2 (3, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935560)

ISP's also always responded that I live too far away from the center, even while it really was only about 1-1.5km (but that would had got me "just" 50 Mbit/s anyway, now with this 100 Mbit/s)

I've always gotten the same runaround when trying to get DSL service.
The short answer is that "1-1.5km" (as the bird flies) is not at all representative of how far the copper is running above/under ground to reach your home.

If you ever lookup* the coverage map for DSL in your area you'll get an idea of how the cables run from the CLEC.

*good luck, it's probably stashed in some county office's locked filing cabinet behind a sign that says "beware of the leopard".

Re:VDSL2 (2, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937060)

I suspect that even in the UK (which has a much higher population density than the US) the majority of people live more than 1km from an exchange ...and this assumes that the copper is relatively new and has clean connections ....

In the US I suspect this is completely pointless for most people .... the only thing is that it might mean that they can get broadband at all ...

Re:VDSL2 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31935822)

VDSL2 is not symmetric, nor does it give anywhere near 50mbit at 1km. At 1km (~3000ft) and in the real world, you will get around 30-35mbit down, 3-4mbit up, and this is with VDSL2 8B (~20.5db launch power), not the lower power VDSL 1.5 crap AT&T deployed.

VDSL2 has many band plans, some of which (ie: VDSL2 12A & 30A) can support symmetric bandwidth if the loop is short enough. Higher frequencies attenuate faster than lower frequencies, since the 2nd upstream band starts at 3.75mhz, very few VDSL2's loop can support symmetric speeds, even if the loop is short.

Re:VDSL2 (1)

w00tsauce (1482311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936196)

The usa is a big fuckin country, which a lot of people don't realize. The only way I forsee getting high speed broadband to these rural communities is a big government push just like when electricity came out. Any DSL technology simply cannot deliver speeds past 5mbps to a large chunk of the country due to the raw distances these twisted pair lines travel. Eventually it will come to a point where someone is going to have to dump $100 billion in getting rural america wired with fiber optic.

Re:VDSL2 (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937206)

What that argument never explains, though, is why basically none of the US has decent home internet access.

Obviously, somebody in the sticks depending on satellite, or using a wildly-uneconomic-but-universal-access-fee-subsidized copper POTS line is going to have lousy internet access. Barring a government(probably federal) initiative on a grand scale, or the invention of a magic WISP that doesn't have lousy ping, that isn't going to change.

However, by population much of the US lives in areas of suburban density or greater. Why do they pay more for worse access than do citizens of other equivalently dense places?

Re:VDSL2 (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937198)

lol, can they beat what ATT is selling me?

1.5Mbit/s at 15k feet =(

Actual speeds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31937490)

TFA claims average advertised speeds of 9.2 Mbps and 1.9Mbps around the world currently. How about giving us numbers that actually correspond to the real world instead? We all know advertised speeds are usually a load of bull.

Great news but... (3, Interesting)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935044)

This is great news but I would like to note that:

1) Japan was offering DSL speeds of 60 Mbps back in 2007: []

And according to TFA:

2) The speed drops to 100Mbps at a 1 km distance.

3) TFA also states "over two copper lines". It sounds like 4 wires are required (1 line=2 wire). If this is indeed the case, might as well bring the fiber into the house instead of a second pair of copper wires ;-))

Re:Great news but... (3, Insightful)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935106)

Most homes have been wired for 2 lines for decades. The wall plates might only support 1 line, but the house wiring generally supports 2. And the cables running to the home frequently support 4 or more lines, even if only 1 is hooked up.

So, I don't really see 3 as being an issue. They certainly won't be tearing up anyones yards to implement this.

Re:Great news but... (1)

ooloogi (313154) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935302)

If everyone wants it, they'll still need to roll out twice the amount of copper thats in the street now, otherwise they'll run out of lines to connect that 2 pairs from the house into.

Re:Great news but... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936090)

No they won't. POTS landlines are a dying product. Do you really think that your local ILEC has a shortage of free copper pairs in the local loop? Not likely, unless you live on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.

Re:Great news but... (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936264)

I live on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.
It's 6 Miles / 10km to the nearest CLEC.
I do, however, have 2 lines running to my house; it's apparently a Tennessee requirement.

I Also used to have ISDN (which is STILL subsidized in TN), until someone local put up a blindingly fast 592 down / 192 up WiFi service.

Gods, I miss civilization sometimes.

Re:Great news but... (2, Insightful)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935432)

The issue is how the phone companies operate. You can only make what the consumer is willing to spend. 9 times out of 10 they have a monopoly in the area so why worry. No one can snatch you away from their service. They have no one to compete with and drive them to provide the best service possible. You probably won't see any change with consumer internet connections.

Re:Great news but... (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935506)

Most homes have been wired for 2 lines for decades.

I was hooking up some phones at my father's new house (god, almost a decade ago now...) and it had 4 lines in the walls (8 individual wires). Being 15 or 16 at the time, I was a terrible electrician and had no idea which cables to go with. So I did the most sensible thing and had my brother lick them.

Lucky for him, you're right. Only 1 pair was hooked up to power. A few aluminum foil and duct-tape splices and we had dial-up!

My point being that this was nearly ten years ago. People still get their internet over the phone lines? For serious?

Re:Great news but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31935590)

Wow... why didn't you just pay someone the $100 (or whatever) to do it properly.

In Australia any phone equipment that is installed by the network owner is owned by the network owner, it is a federal offence to tamper with it beyond a licensed installer installing things beyond this network border point. Most homes have a point that is installed by Telstra and past that an Austel certified installer is allowed to install things, apartment blocks have an MDF that serves as the network border point.

Re:Great news but... (0, Offtopic)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935688)

I live in Australia, picture a small group of shared walled dwellings down a common concrete driveway.
My copper phoneline is crushed. I get adsl 2+ and voice from wires via my neighbours phoneline.
The idea that "suburbia" is packed with pure copper ethernet goodness vs corroding/crushed ducts and pits is hopeful. What telco would want repair data would have to be opened up .
Best just to stall roll outs by competitors and wait for that magic internal roll out cost number to go down over a few more years.
What would the cost be of fixing/testing old copper and then having to share it with other isp's at a 'fed' watched wholesale rate?
Let it rot and roll out your own closed next gen solution.

Re:Great news but... (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937068)

"Most homes have been wired for 2 lines for decades." ...

Really!, tell that to any UK telecoms person and they will laugh at you .... ...I suspect this is also untrue in most countries including the US .... why would they lay more copper than they need?

Re:Great news but... (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935132)

If there's copper in the local lines already, bringing a second pair in is a lot cheaper than stringing all new fibre on the whole local area. It's just another pair from the pole to the house.

Re:Great news but... (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935134)

"3) TFA also states "over two copper lines". It sounds like 4 wires are required (1 line=2 wire). If this is indeed the case, might as well bring the fiber into the house instead of a second pair of copper wires ;-))"

I thought 'standard' telephone line had two twisted pairs (four wires) in the line? I don't think anyone is suggesting running a second line into premises that only have one line at the moment?

This sounds like it would be used to allow the phone company to maybe run fiber optic to your block, and then have a VDSLAM which connects the fiber to all the existing copper lines which run into customer premises already. I think AT&T has a service called U-Verse which is based around this model (although it doesn't use a DSL version which is as fast as that proposed in this article).

But, the idea is, I think, it's extremely expensive to run fiber into every home/apartment/business, but pretty cheap to run fiber to a local access point, then use existing copper into the premises.

Re:Great news but... (1)

beav007 (746004) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935170)

Standard PSTN is 2 wires per line, not 4.

In Australia, the standard lead-in (pit to house) is 3 pairs, but with only 1 pair live.

Re:Great news but... (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935440)

You are indeed correct about POTS (PSTN) using 2 wires.

However, standard practice here in Australia, as required by telecommunication's law is actually 2 pairs. Red & Black and Green & Black I think. Never was a techie, just did line programming & cable records.

The problem I can see with 4 wire services is when it comes to apartment blocks/units/flats or any type of "gated" community. That's when things become there responsibility of the builder/body corporate. The telcos only have requirements to get to the MDF (Main Distribution Frame) of the complex, the body corporate then decides if each apartment needs 2 pairs to the socket.

I remember before ADSL2/2+ became available there was talk of a 4 pair 80mbps version, but by the look of it this may have been canned due to the amount of copper required for a single service. Fiber would probably have been more economically viable.

Re:Great news but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31935948)

I'm in an apartment block in Au, currently on ADSL2+, and synching at 22Mb or so.

I'd love to get better upload than the measly 1Mb for current offerings, IIRC only Internode offer Annex M for ~2-2.5 Mb uploads over ADSL2+.

VDSL is a pipe dream, better off waiting for the NBN to ensure you can get ADSL2+ everywhere, as FTTH is going to be a long way off :( Even 10/10 over fibre would be a great improvement, both latency and upload bandwidth.

Re:Great news but... (4, Interesting)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936110)

However, standard practice here in Australia, as required by telecommunication's law is actually 2 pairs. Red & Black and Green & Black I think. Never was a techie, just did line programming & cable records.

I was a techie (exchange mtce), then got suckered into liney-land via DSL installs / faults.

2 pairs - White & Blue, Red & Black (mostly) - but that's only for the lead-in from the pit to the NBP (first socket / external J-box), or maybe from the building MDF or IDFs to the unit/townhouse. In theory, internal stuff should be at least 2pr, but you've gotta remember 90+% of it these days is installed by builders (i.e. as cheaply as possible) & signed off by their pet electricians, so that's not a given. Plenty of single-pair in internal cabling, although that's rapidly being superseded by CAT-5 - which they usually manage to put a staple through, crush under sheeting, or just plain stretch so you're *lucky* to get a single pair that works...

(Seriously - I've forgotten how many brand-spankin'-new installs I'd attended where I had to split all 4 pairs differently around the house just to get a single line to all points.)

And let's not talk about the so-called "technician" contractors Telstra passes the lead-in installs & replacements to. I've seen lead-in buried solid (with just short lengths of conduit at the building and pit end end so it passes inspection), and CAT-5 lead-in that's such crap it's gone low IR 40 minutes after getting damp...

Besides, as a cable assigner you'd know the real problem is the lack of free/working pairs in the mains to the pillar, or especially the O-side street cabling. A 2pr lead-in is fine, but there's nowhere near enough capacity to extend 2 pairs for more than a few people all the way back to the pillar, let alone the exchange or local cabinet...

Re:Great news but... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31935336)

I still cant get over 1.2 Mbps at my house. Palo Alto, California. Silicon Valley, USA.

"That's the best we can do with the old wiring in your neighborhood." Yeah, Thanks.

Re:Great news but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31935816)

I live near boulder creek and can only get about 1mbit on a good day, not to mention the 2-3 second latency but that is surfnet's wireless sucking unfortunately the only option out here, no cable/dsl available. I feel your pain.

Re:Great news but... (1)

badran (973386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936034)

I know a location in Lviv Ukraine with pre-WWII wiring which gets 24/1 ADSL2+, granted is under 1KM from the exchange.

I get full ADSL2+ goodness with my 60 or 70's wiring.

I cannot understand how "Palo Alto, California. Silicon Valley, USA." does not have a better connection...

Also the building I am living in is covered by 3 other ISP's that provide Cable Internet via fiber.

Re:Great news but... (2, Funny)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936210)

Obviously the 70+ year old GLORIOUS WIRING OF THE PEOPLE is superior to shitty imperialist wiring, duh.

Re:Great news but... (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936214)

I remembered Lviv was under Poland before WWII. So I guess it was still imperialist wiring after all. I guess they don't make 'em like they used to.

Re:Great news but... (2, Insightful)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935526)

many trunk lines already probably have an extra set, since they are designed for many lines per house. they could just throw extra lines into the digital stream. As well, it would cut costs to implement, since a loop extender can be added at 1 km, so it reduces the amount of new cable that must be laid. Its a far better way to get broadband to rural areas than the crazy and dumb idea of BPL.

Re:Great news but... (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935548)

The loop extender can extend service areas beyond 1 km from the CO, BTW.

Re:Great news but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31935992)

1) Japan was offering DSL speeds of 60 Mbps back in 2007:

That's not over DSL. More likely fiber.

Good Bye Comcast (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935062)

May the gods bless these magnificent researchers with a bountiful harvest, many wives and obedient children.

Seriously, what pisses me off more than anything about the past 10 years of broadband was we were moving towards such a bright future with the ability to choose from dozens of DSL providers in some areas until they stopped upgrading the DSLAMS in my area and we were stuck at 8 Mb/s. I checked recently and the fastest I can get at my new apartment is 1 Mb/s for DSL.

Re:Good Bye Comcast (0)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935086)

Can you already get VDSL2? Otherwise it's not going to help much. Currently it has a maximum of 250 Mbit/s at source to and 50 Mbit/s at 1km/0.6miles. This is just improving that existing speed.

Re:Good Bye Comcast (2, Informative)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935468)

Right - like AT&T and Verizon are any better. Seriously, if we don't start regulating carriers soon they're going to be regulating us.

So... 85% copper (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935072)

About 65 percent of subscribers have a broadband connection that's based on DSL, compared to 20 percent for cable

My cable is made out of copper...

Re:So... 85% copper (2, Informative)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935488)

RG-6 is copper plated steel. cheaper.

Re:So... 85% copper (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936020)

Cheaper and just as good, due to skin effect [] .

Re:So... 85% copper (1)

nometacognition (1600833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935584)

If you are counting anything more than 70% of a total person's mass as human then you are being too generous.

related news from stanley: (1)

luckymutt (996573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935092)

Hey guys! We just developed a way to make our motorcar [] go twice as fast as it did before!

Um (1)

odd42 (1370641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935124)

What's wrong with gigabit?

Too much attenuation?

Re:Um (2, Insightful)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935244)

No, why bring 1Gbs immediately instead of an elevated route to 1Gbs and make a shitload of money in the process?

These are the conflicting interests between you and the telecom company, besides all this nice equipment needs to be paid as well.

I am afraid though that most US based people will see these speeds in the 23rd century if the telecoms over there keep their current pace.

Re:Um (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935398)

besides all this nice equipment needs to be paid as well

The machines are getting paychecks now too? What's next? The homeless?


Gigabit (3, Informative)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935254)

The problem with all copper lines is capacitance,
which acts as a low pass filter. The longer the line the more high frequencies are lost, which in effect takes the "edges" off of the pulses, making differetiation difficult. No ammount of technolgy is going to change the laws of physics. (:

All kinds of tricks are use such as QAM and different forms of compression to cram more down a copper pair.

All POTS work on 2 wires. Even if one has several pairs coming into the premises it is unlikely that there will be enough spares all the way to the exchange.(Would you put in double the ammount of copper needed on the off chance that it might be needed later.

The extra incoming wire are mainly for spares in case of faults.

Here in .au I have ADSL2 which at my current location provides 15mb/s.

Re:Gigabit (1)

teh dave (1618221) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935508)

Here in .au I have 2Mbps/0.5Mbps. And that is a great speed considering I'm 6.1km from the exchange. I'd be ecstatic if these improvements let me take that up to, say, 15Mbps/2Mbps but I really don't think we'll see them here anyway. At least, not at affordable prices.

Re:Gigabit (1)

acoustix (123925) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938098)

Here in .au I have 2Mbps/0.5Mbps. And that is a great speed considering I'm 6.1km from the exchange.

It doesn't matter how far away you are from the exchange. It matters how far away the DSLAM is.

Re:Gigabit (1)

teh dave (1618221) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938182)

True, but they're the same thing if the DSLAM is inside the exchange. Which isn't always the case, so I shouldn't assume it is.

Re:Gigabit (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935572)

This would be used to connect to mini-DSLAM's at the node level, not to the CO (Exchange). Besides, in the US there was always plenty of spare capacity in the 500 pair trunks for extra revenue services like multi-line businesses, and with somewhere approaching half of all households dropping landlines and businesses going with VoIP offerings I bet there's more spare pairs then ever.

Re:Gigabit (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935636)

I think it is highly unlikely that there would be many spare pairs.

In .au RIMMs are used to allow multiple pots on a single pair via frequency division multiplexing, in such a case no-one that is connected via a RIMM can have ADSL services.

Re:Gigabit (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935692)

It's WAY cheaper to drop a slightly bigger cable in the trench then it is to dig a new trench or use some kind of gizmo that has to be powered and maintained at the node level. Heck, for our new building (~200k sq ft) they brought in 3x 100 pair even though it's unlikely more than a hundred would ever be used even if we get a bunch of smaller tenants using POTS.

Re:Gigabit (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936992)

Agreed, but just because they have put in 100 pairs does not mean they will all get a copper circuit to the DSLAM/exchange.

If they use a RIM (remote multiplexer)

Damn it I spelt it RIMM previously (That was RAMBUS of course! []

Link states DLC are used in the US which apparently fit 12 VF (Think 28.8k modem) circuits into each pair, using 2 pairs to create a T1 line from the RIM to the exchange.

Who knows, you may have the capacity available, but increasingly these days RIMs are used to maximize the capacity of existing copper.

DSL/ADSL requires a pair all the way to the Exchange/DSLAM to get maximum speed. I am about a kilometer from the exchange and get 15 mb/s

It's worth bearing in mind.

Don't get me wrong, I would like Gigabit to-but that will almost certainly need fibre.

Copper gigabit ethernet cable runs can only be a maximum of 80 meters long

Re:Gigabit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31936926)

This would be used to connect to mini-DSLAM's at the node level, not to the CO (Exchange). Besides, in the US there was always plenty of spare capacity in the 500 pair trunks for extra revenue services like multi-line businesses, and with somewhere approaching half of all households dropping landlines and businesses going with VoIP offerings I bet there's more spare pairs then ever.

Well, you would think so, but it's actually not the case in many locations. The phone companies might be losing some POTS customers to VoIP but they're picking them right back up with their DSL.
I actually work for a cable-based ISP and we have indeed taken a lot of people from the local telco's. I work directly with businesses specifically with porting phone systems to a cable-modem based interface, and I can tell you for a fact that in many, many cities the phone companies have been playing shell games with the available pairs for YEARS. If anything, the advent of DSL is making it even more of a problem for them, since you can often pull some "funny business" with voice lines that won't be noticed, but would never work if you're loading DSL up on the copper instead. For example, we recently ported in a customer who supposedly had 12 external lines to their PBX system, and when we got the port the phone company really only had 8 actual lines, but was using some fancy tricks to "make up" the other lines... since most of the lines were for customer rooms in a hotel the owners never really noticed that 4 of the lines were "virtual"... but if they tried loading DSL up on those instead it'd be immediately obvious.

Re:Gigabit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31936858)

The trick is to notice the SNR is a ratio. What you say is true, capacitance reduces the signal, so what you need to do to preserver SNR is to reduce the noise. That's what VDSL2, and future technologies, do. What most people consider to be noise is in fact interference, and interference is not random. VDSL2 models the interference sources, and subtracts them, so reducing the "noise" and upping the SNR. The ultimate limit to this technique is when all interference sources have been canceled, and all that is left is thermal noise, which truly is random (unless you can model the quantum fluctuations and cancel those too! :-).

Re:Gigabit (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937590)

Never had trouble getting a second phone line installed anywhere I lived in Canada. They'd just hook it up at the pole, and sometimes run a second line (4 wires) from the pole to the house if the existing run wasn't good enough. Then again, DSL in Canada was cheaper in 1999 than when I was living in Australia last year... maybe it's just typical Telestra BS. They have spare lines to the exchange, but maybe not enough for every house in a neighbourhood to have two or more lines.

Re:Um (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935502)

Last I checked copper Gb ethernet needs 4 pair, and is only good for 100m.
Not much good unless you live inside the central office.

Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31935582)

This is the correct answer.

Re:Um (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936124)

I thought I'd head something about a version that demanded a better quality cable as a baseline in order to use fewer pairs. I checked Google for 'copper Gb ehternet', which got me information from Wikipedia.

1000Base-T requires four pair of Cat5 or higher.
1000Base-TX requires two pair of Cat6 or higher.

1000Base-TX is largely a commercial failure, and many 1000Base-T items are incorrectly labeled 1000Base-TX out of confusion, since the most popular version of 100 is 100Base-TX.

The distance is the same for 1000Base-TX as 1000Base-T. The only difference is the trade of demanding better cabling for fewer pairs.

100 meters might be useful for people if the phone companies put mini-DSLAMs in their service pedestals and had sufficient back-haul from there. Although some companies are working on deploying mini-DSLAMs, those are usually neighborhood by neighborhood and not four or so households at a time.

Gbps with the last portion being copper might work in a tightly packed area like a high-rise apartment or business complex or a dorm. Otherwise, that sort of speed is going to need different tech.

24 mbps (0, Troll)

nometacognition (1600833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935232)

How do I go to slashdot and filter stories that reference any "broadband" story that references stories over 24 mbps? I buy 22. But the local "fastest" advertised speed is 24. Really though, maybe a filter that just cleans 100 mbps and above? Oh wait. In my imagination I have 1000 and don't live in my mom's basement. ps the latter isn't true.

Probably Won't Ever See It... (1)

sabinelr (1061112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935246)

Qwest is still too cheap to put in a new DSLAM to give me 1.5 Mb. Where I live in the middle of a city of about 60,000, it might as well be a giant trailer park for all the service we get here. On the other hand, Comcast has the whole place wired to as fast as possible.

Re:Probably Won't Ever See It... (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935416)

I live in Downtown Denver, about three short blocks away from their largest residential CO, and I still only qualify for 7. I know, I should be smitten, but you'd think they'd have their own backyard wired up.

Re:Probably Won't Ever See It... (2, Funny)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935778)

Where I live in the middle of a city of about 60,000, it might as well be a giant trailer park for all the service we get here.

Hey, you insensitive city-slicker, nowadays we say "mobile home neighborhood." Don't be tryin ta keep us down with yer "trail park" junk. Ya'll can keep ya'll's high-rise apartments, wiel we be OWNIN are double-wide son. Yall just gel-us cus we get the same computer internet AND EBAY plus we can park the rig rite next too are door. Step here bringin that and well get the 12 gauge oh wait you cant cus the bus dont come outside downtown!!! (we gots cable internet anyway plus 350 channils and free cheez. 350 channils i love America!!!!)
PS we got the new CRAIGSLIST to!!!!!!!!

AT&T DSL Pro: 2.5Mbit max (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31935262)

Is it a common speed in CA or am I a lone looser here?

This story is lame (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31935294)

Comcast, and yes we all hate comcast, is able to give me 12MBi down, using only 2 tv channel's worth of frequency space on their coax cable. Just think if they opened this up to a few more channels worth of freq space. Oh and the freq space should be avail with the move to digital from analog, considering they can now put 6 digital channels in the same spectrum that used to only host 1. They should be able to put much more bandwidth on the coax line.

Uverse eater! (1)

Mantis8 (876944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935424)

If this really is as the article states, then it is 12x faster than AT&T's quickest version of uverse and at much greater distances. Currently, you have to be within 3,000 feet of the CO to get uverse, which is much less than dsl, which can go out to around 15,000 feet or so.

1 KM really does not exist. (4, Interesting)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935574)

They so often say you need to be 1 km from the CO. But a loop extender or node can be used to extend it to areas far beyond 1 km distance, in fact, to extend service many, many miles away, even dozens, basically which rejuvenates the signal, and possibly connects to a fiber trunk, although electronics can probably be developed to regenerate the signal even over a very long copper run, which is made even easier with the digital signal. The investment in that is far less than laying all new cable. It requires perhaps some electronic equipment every mile or so. This would, it is often forgotten, cut down on the cost needed to extend broadband to remote areas. It is probably the cheapest way to do it as much of the infrastructure can be reused. Its much better than the insane and crazy idea of BPL which is unfeasible and has so many more technical problems (RFI).

Re:1 KM really does not exist. (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935710)

If it were really that easy, telcos would already be doing so to get high-speed VDSL2 (U-verse and such) to more of their urban and suburban customers who are sitting just out of range of those services. They aren't doing this, so clearly there's a major catch.

Re:1 KM really does not exist. (0)

nometacognition (1600833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935726)

Is the ground so dense in the mountains that the telcos don't lay cable? Fiber or copper?

Oh CO doesn't mean colorado... We had years with men digging out by the sidewalks. Do you mean to say you can't remember the fiber being laid? If you can't you are don't have access to broadband. I believe the term is sneakernet. Or workboot-net. I prefer the hyphen.

Re:1 KM really does not exist. (2, Informative)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935718)

The issue isn't just distance.

It's things like bridge taps that cause destructive interference and mangle the DSL signal, grounding issues, cumulative interference, etc, that are the real problems with getting very high speed DSL out into the boonies. Even improper termination or a rusty nail rubbing against the line can cause enough interference to kill a DSL signal!

Re:1 KM really does not exist. (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935862)

There can be a lot of problems even still. I can see the local box from my window (well, I could if there wasn't a house in the way), and I had the damndest time getting VDSL installed. DSL had problems too, but the higher bitrate of VDSL caused the problems to get a lot worse.

Had intermittent outages from February through November. Called 9 times for AT&T guys to come out and look at it, but it always started working again before they got here, so they'd just kind of dick around, proclaim it fixed, and make me repeat the process a week later when it went down again.

Finally, it went down for an entire week last Thanksgiving. This was bad because I'd just bought Dragon Age: Origins on Steam and couldn't play it (because Steam sucks - if it knows there's an update available, it won't download it, but will refuse to run in offline mode until you get it), but was also a good thing because the techs could finally find out what the problem was - moisture getting in the conduit between my apartment building and the box a couple hundred feet away. (Before that, they just kept "fixing" the wiring in my apartment over and over and over again.) Took them about a week to get a construction team out, but it's been working perfectly since then.

Just ran a Speakeasy speed test:
Download Speed: 22398 kbps (2799.8 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 2895 kbps (361.9 KB/sec transfer rate)

Is not bad.

Re:1 KM really does not exist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31936634)

That isn't bad for DSL. But Comcast cable is nearly as fast:
Download Speed: 16350 kbps (2043.8 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 3522 kbps (440.3 KB/sec transfer rate)

OTOH, Comcast cheats by using PB. But coming from someone wishing for U-Verse availability, those DSL speeds leave me a little disappointed.

Re:1 KM really does not exist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31936956)

how are you going to power all those 'signal rejuvenators'? telephone wire cant carry many amps.

Is 100 Mbps a big deal? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31935640)

My cable broadband is 60 Mbps.

DSL degrades over disatnce. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935760)

At what rate does VDSL2 degrade. With ADSL 2+ it degrades beyond a point of usefulness at 4-6 KM, Once you get past 2 KM the curve increases [] lowering speed significantly.

I live 3.3 Kilometres from my telephone Exchange and can barely get 3 Mbit/s. For the most part I get 1-1.3 Mbit/s. Can VDSL help extend the useful range of DSL?

Re:DSL degrades over disatnce. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31935848)

No, VDSL2 8B (~20.5dbm launch power, similar to ADSL/ADSL2+) is supposed to converge to ADSL2+ speeds on longer loops, but because VDSL2 line cards have line drivers and AFE's optimized for short loops, real world tests with VDSL2 8B shows performance is worse than ADSL2+ at loops above 6000ft.

Re:DSL degrades over disatnce. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936974)

I don't think it's a case of distance per se in your case, more very poor line quality at some point...

Doubt this will help longer lines (2, Informative)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935792)

Sounds nice for those with short lines...

I live about ~3km from my exchange (in Australia), which unfortunately reduces my 24 Mbps (max) ADSL2+ service to 6.2 Mbit (without interleaving) or 7.7 Mbit (with interleaving). Any technology that can squeeze a bit more out of my old rusty copper wire sounds nice to me, at least until the national broadband network (fibre) gets rolled out in 3-4 more years.

Having said that I have a funny suspicion this won't help anyone stuck on a longer line (i.e. any line that wouldn't really support VDSL now). The move from ADSL1 to ADSL2 and ADSL2+ improved the 'max' speed of the service for those close to the exchange, but any xDSL technology seems to hit a certain distance where that benefit is lost.

This graph [] shows this nicely - ADSL2+ (in green) is way faster than ADSL1 (blue) for shorter/less attenuated lines. But beyond around 4km, it offers virtually no improvement at all. And I suspect the laws of physics are at play here such that this new VDSL variant wouldn't be any different.

Welcome to 1995 South Korea (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31935812)

I guess these aren't the guys who liscence stuff, how could they? It's not like they were handed, oh, $200 billion dollars, say.

A friend from Korea reports that the multi gigabit stuff is all the rage.

Guess what! People have copper!

You fai7 it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31935980)

at d3ath's dOor

nice. what's the backchannel like? (2, Insightful)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936334)

300Mbps/64Kbps would be rather boring.

400m, 1000m, all well and good... (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 4 years ago | (#31936348)

but what does it do at 3500m?

(Guess why that interests me).

Slashvertisement? (1)

fpitech (1559147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937006)

Alcatel-Lucent surely isn't the first one to implement bonding, and it has also been used with ADSL2+. And they are not the first ones to come up with vectoring, that is used to reduce crosstalk. The article makes it seem like Alcatel-Lucent has done something incredible, even though there will be ITU-T standard and equipment from at least Ericsson.

Notes from a small island (4, Interesting)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937164)

Called the UK.

In some ways I am lucky, I live in the south-west, a city called Exeter, 40 miles from Plymouth and the Mayflower Steps for the yanks. In some ways this is lucky because this region is used to market test many products and technologies before they get a nationwide launch.

In 2001 BT first offered ADSL, it was 128/512 kbit, and used the green alcatel stingray / frog thing.

In 2004 Telewest took over the cable TV/telephone company, and put in the internet as a cable option, I switched.

Today I can get either max 8 mbit adsl over (twisted pair) copper, or max 50 mbit cable over (coax) copper.

Due to traffic shaping and throttling and oversold contention ratios, I can max out the 8 mbit adsl at a rock solid 6 mbit and actually achieve a greater throughput than I can from the theoretically far faster (up to) 20 mbit cable package.

The only other alternative was either ISDN or horrendously expensive leased line, which started at around 30k bucks per annum for 2 mbit.

I spent 5 years up until 2004 trying to convince the cable company to provide internet over their pipes, and quite frankly even though I was talking to senior managers they just didn't "get it".

I have to tell you that nothing has changed, they still don't "get it", "it" being the internet.

They still think in dial up terms of pence per minute, or utility terms of pence per kWh or cubic foot.

Frankly speaking the UK economy is fucked, and none of the politicians get it either, especially not the pirate party, in the run up to the general elections.

What we need is a MASSIVE public works deal, just like the yank New Deal when they built the interstates, and roll out SYMMETRIC cable AND ipv6 to every home, set a target, project to be completed within 3 years.

Since we are starting today we need to future proof, so it has to be gigabit each way.

It has to be fibre / laser, not anything on copper, or anything wireless.

It will have the same effect as the building of the interstates, it will open and enable markets that previously did not exist.

Even allowing for overspends, it would come in at less than 50 billion UK pounds, and that spread over 3 years.

All slashdotters, ask yourself this, can you see any opportunities for yourself, and your company, if you were told this was being rolled out in your area? project starting in 4 months and completed in 40?

gigabit up/down and ipv6, does this enable anything you can't do now? things that will generate revenue and stimulate the economy? things that will have a benefit for society that can't just be measured in dollars and cents?


Re:Notes from a small island (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937556)

Since we are starting today we need to future proof, so it has to be gigabit each way.

What's the point? Your cable example shows exactly why the last mile is not the problem: you'll get throttled upstream anyway.

Which reminds me, Virgin Media are well overdue a bitch-slapping from the ASA for their ludicrous speed claims. The basic 10Mb/s package is a joke, since it only takes 10 minutes use at 10Mb/s to hit the usage cap and get throttled down to 2Mb/s. In effect, it's a 2Mb/s service with occasional bursts of 10Mb/s performance.

Re:Notes from a small island (1)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937622)

That is exactly the point, in the States, Greyhound (now owned by Stagecoach I believe) and here in the UK National Express and Stagecoach DO NOT CONTROL THE motorways / interstate.

connectivity and bandwidth should be classed as INFRASTRUCTURE, not a private toll road.

Really, fuck Virgin, and BT, and everyone else, they have their corporate fingers in enough other pies.

Japan, Korea, Sweden, all these countries prove that there is NO VALID REASON WHATSOEVER that this infrastructure cannot be put in to place.

Corporations have had a decade to do this (and they have had the money / subsidies / grants too, especially in the US) and they have chosen to do nothing. FUCK THEM, and the horse they rode in on.

This is more important to society than some CEO getting a fat bonus. []

Re:Notes from a small island (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937894)

Calm down, Sparky. If you want to roll out some Communist "3 year plan", then sure, let's get on it, but it needs to be targeted at the backbone, not the last mile. Create a surplus of supply (more backbone capacity), and the cost of supplying to the home will come down. Just drive up demand at the home, make the supply even scarcer, and what do you think will happen to the cost, or the service?

People do not use much bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31937580)

Considering that people use the internet primarily for web browsing, which is not that demanding. The major high bandwidth activity is downloading movies. Therefore, I doubt a widescale fiber optic deployment will do much to boost the economy.

Re:People do not use much bandwidth (1)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937660)

Considering that people use unmetalled roads mainly for walking, or the pony and trap, which is not that demanding. The major high capacity loads are transporting foodstuffs. Therefore I doubt that widescale metalled roads and interstates will do much to boost the economy.

Re:Notes from a small island (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31938010)

That sounds like a waste of money. I think the country would benefit more by spending that money on education, or more preventative health care. Or just paying the interest on Gordon Brown's debts.

Different ways that things are done... (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937194)

For those who want to see things be "open" so that multiple providers can use the same wires, you need to have an infrastructure in place that has not been paid for ONLY by private companies, and that is where the problems come from. For DSL service here in the USA, much of the copper infrastructure for the telephone system was subsidized by the US government in the push to put telephone coverage in EVERY house. This is why for DSL, you CAN have multiple providers in a given area in the USA. For cable and fiber on the other hand, the US government has avoided getting involved in ANYTHING of a technical nature for a long time now, so we won't see fiber or cable going to every house for Internet, and it becomes more difficult for the government to force private companies to do things with lines that have been placed and maintained by private companies.

The USA is a BIG country with a lot of very rural areas, and without government involvement, it is not going to be profitable to run high speed Internet to many rural areas, just due to the maintenance costs compared to how much money they can really charge for the service in those rural areas($50/month in West Virginia is too much for many people just for Internet access for example). In smaller countries like Japan, it becomes easier to bring high speed to EVERY home, just because the country is so small in comparison. What some people don't realize is that New York State alone is larger than many countries, and the state government is BROKE, with no money to spend on projects. The FEDERAL government is also broke, but just keeps printing money and spending, so they act like someone with an Amex platinum card who go on a spending spree for one month, and then end up in debt for the rest of their lives.

And this will change anything .... HOW? (3, Interesting)

luckytroll (68214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937224)

Great, now the ISPs will have even higher speeds to lie to us about in their advertising.

Seriously. All this means is that we will hit our caps faster, and/or will feel the throttling more painfully.

When you are being throttled to 25Kb/s, it dosen't matter how fast your last mile can go - It becomes all about
making long-haul ISP links cheap as dirt so the ISP dosent feel a need to throttle their oversubscribed backhaul link to the 'net.

Re:And this will change anything .... HOW? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937460)

Or in the case of certain ISPs (Bell Sympatico), the cap will be hit even faster, since they lower the cap every time they up the speed offering!?

300mb over 400 meters.. so what? (1)

EriktheGreen (660160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31937940)

Those of you excited about this should take a closer look. This is a breakthrough for data over copper, but fiber is faster, and this tech is only useful for locations that are densely populated with short wire distances... IE the same locations where fiber could be installed economically. There have been dozens of "breakthroughs" like this over the years, and none of them has substantially improved high speed access in the US. Mostly they're incremental upgrades for DSL users, a lot of whom don't see the full speed promised anyway.

It's always been possible to transfer large amounts of data over relatively short distances. If you shorten the distance to bus length you can transfer dozens of gigabytes per second. 400 meters is almost no distance as far as telco wiring is concerned.

The problem that has existed since the internet began (and since I was an ISP tech in the late 90s) is that the central office to subscriber connection is slow, operates over short distances, and is handicapped by the desire (on the phone companies' part) to use existing infrastructure.

The public telephone network was built at taxpayer cost and "inherited" by the various post-bell system phone companies. They didn't pay for it in the first place and they're not going to pay to replace it if they can help it. They have some of the most legally protected profit margins anywhere... imagine if you were handed an infrastructure with thousands of subscribers, guaranteed no competition, and otherwise allowed to make as much money as you can in exchange for some occasional government regulation... it's every businessman's dream (provided they're not completely ethical). Having the gravy train rolling in doesn't give them any incentive to build out the network, especially to the less populated areas. They get the same money anyway provided they lie well enough to the government to keep additional regulation and competition away. The only way for them to make less money is to spend it on major improvement projects like replacing the old copper pairs to each house with fiber, especially if you do it in areas where people can't or won't pay a premium price for the service, IE the areas that don't have high speed internet now.

The same telco companies have even requested money from the federal government in tax breaks and outright subsidies over the years to "bring internet into rural communities". I have to laugh when I hear that. Many rural communities in the US still have dial-up only. The telcos go on their merry way and pocket the money.. after all, that's what they're good at.

Greatly expanded speeds over copper for a relatively short distance are pointless because it doesn't help with the access problem. All this improved technology means is that for a small subset of DSL users in densely populated metro areas where the telco is willing to upgrade equipment a speed increase to the telco will be seen. Who knows if the bandwidth exists at the central office to make it worth it? The telcos aren't going to spend money to link multiple intermediate sites together with the high speed tech to extend service out to sparsely populated areas. Sure, it would work technically, but it costs money for little return. Despite the fact that they're effectively subsidized by the taxpayers, they're under no obligation to help the taxpayers.

What's really needed to kick off broadband development is someone other than the phone companies taking on network service delivery to the home, without using the public telephone network and without handing money to the telcos. Like Google is trying to do... I guess if you get enough money on your side in this country, you find the power to do things. Too bad the government can't do things like that itself. Change, pfft. It's too late.

Now, a communications break through that lets 10 mbit bidirectional data be delivered over, say, a 10 wire mile distance (50,000 feet).. that would be a game changer. What's needed is a moderate speed tech that costs the phone companies very little to implement but works over long distances.... something cheap enough for the telcos to preserve their precious profits but still install it and provide service farther out.


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