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Alcatel-Lucent Gives DSL Networks a Gigabit Boost

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the sprint-not-marathon dept.

Networking 120

coondoggie writes "Alcatel-Lucent and Telekom Austria have completed the world's first trial of G.fast, new technology enabling gigabit broadband over existing copper networks. The technology is only intended for distances up to 100 meters or 0.06 miles. But at that distance and less it helps copper keep up with fiber." It works, says the linked article, "by continuously analyzing the noise conditions on copper lines, and then creates a new anti-noise signal to cancel it out, much like noise-canceling headphones."

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120 comments

Fiber to the curb (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166261)

Yawn.

Captcha: wearying

Re:Fiber to the curb (3, Informative)

davester666 (731373) | about 10 months ago | (#44167191)

Great, now all the ads for DSL will be for "Up to 1 Gb/s download speed [tiny print]Actual speed will vary"

A Cautionary Yay (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#44166289)

Nobody's going to roll this out unless Google or another larger player starts rolling it out and making the existing 6 Mb/s connections unpalatable to consumers.

We'll probably see this in about 10 years.

Re:A Cautionary Yay (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 10 months ago | (#44166593)

I hope we never see this. It's a waste of resources - much better to just run fiber (Or ethernet, since we're talking about 100m) those last few meters and allow for easy upgrades in the future without the burden of ancient telephone cables.

Re:A Cautionary Yay (3, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 10 months ago | (#44166755)

Exactly. Why try to get the most out of something that's already bought and paid for when you can get something completely new and force people to either pay nearly usurious rates for slow speeds or go without.

Re:A Cautionary Yay (1)

sjames (1099) | about 10 months ago | (#44168829)

Because the upgrade itself is unlikely to be cheap?

You have to compare the cost of the Gfast upgrade against the cost of replacing the run with fiber. That includes future maintenance and upgrades.

Re:A Cautionary Yay (4, Insightful)

Chuckstar (799005) | about 10 months ago | (#44166967)

Disagree. This is great for apartment buildings/complexes where running fiber to the buildings isn't the problem. It's running fiber within the buildings (to the individual units) that's expensive. Something like a third of Americans live in apartments, so a system that spans the last few hundred feet in apartments without needing to rewire buildings would definitely be a win.

Re:A Cautionary Yay (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44167749)

Agree, the target audience for this are undoubtedly apartment complexes / existing buildings.

I had verizon FIOS in an apartment last year. The fiber came into a utility closet in the basement. The individual apartments were wired up from there using DSL over the existing phone line. Unfortunately, the cap on plans available to apartments in that area was 20mbits, due to the limits of the DSL technology they used. Something like this would allow a fiber provider to offer gigabit internet to an apartment complex without having to run wires to individual apartments.

Re:A Cautionary Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44168437)

I don't get /. anymore. A "Funny" comment that posts pure FUD get a 4 rating. A _very_ good posts that make people understand the reason for the tech and why its a big deal..... also gets a 4 rating. For Christs sake, set a switch that filters out all the "funny" posts by default. Let the people who are here to be amused and amusing switch it on if they want it. (who does?)

Re:A Cautionary Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44169801)

the biggest reason i read /. is to read the comments for comedy.

Re:A Cautionary Yay (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 10 months ago | (#44170775)

My building has a 5Gbs fibre connection, I spoke with the teleco service guy when they were out replacing the equipment a couple months ago. The limiting factor now is the fact the building was wired about 12 years ago with Cat 5. Overall I can't complain too much other than when it's bad weather out on the weekend and everyone seems to be home streaming Netflix. Usually it's throttling at the server I'm connected to that is my bottleneck.

Re:A Cautionary Yay (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 months ago | (#44171241)

My building has a 5Gbs fibre connection, I spoke with the teleco service guy when they were out replacing the equipment a couple months ago. The limiting factor now is the fact the building was wired about 12 years ago with Cat 5.

CAT-5 should get you gigabit ethernet speeds, no problem. If you've got more than 5 people in your building, the 5Gbps fiber connection is, in fact, still the bottleneck. You can oversubscribe a line only so far, before it gets congested.

Re:A Cautionary Yay (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 months ago | (#44171153)

This is great for apartment buildings/complexes where running fiber to the buildings isn't the problem. It's running fiber within the buildings (to the individual units) that's expensive.

Are you kidding me? You think buying a truck-load of brand-new high-tech DSLAMs and DSL modems for each apt is going to be CHEAPER than running CAT-6 or fiber up a wall?

I've lived in apartment complexes big and small, and I can't think of one of them that would be difficult to rewire. With multi-story units, you're talking about snaking a fish tape from the ground floor up several stories to an attic/crawl space, then pulling a bundle of wires down, and terminating them at each level. With smaller units, you're talking about stapling a few tens of feet of lines to the overhang, and through the wall.

Coordinating the in-apt access would be a bit of a hassle, but combine it with the annual inspection or some other maintenance / repairs, and you're all set. The process is non-trivial, but would be far, far cheaper than a boat-load of new equipment, when you could have cheaper, faster, and future-proofed for a fraction the cost.

And for the record, I just got done with a bunch of wiring upgrades to my old house... Taking drops that only had phone lines, and running coax and CAT-6 into them, connecting them up to a $2 panel that had all three hookups.

Re:A Cautionary Yay (3, Insightful)

bdwebb (985489) | about 10 months ago | (#44169253)

The fact of the matter is that the ancient cables are still there and if the addition of simple noise-cancelling can increase the copper speed to allow existing infrastructure to carry greater amounts of data, why is it a waste of resources? Ultimately it may be BETTER to run fiber, but it is almost never CHEAPER. This is especially the case in old buildings where ripping out concrete walls is not feasible or drilling through them to run fiber is not cost effective.

I doubt you'll ever hear an argument that you shouldn't run modern cabling no matter what decade we live in - the problem is that the money just isn't there most of the time to do so to replace infrastructure that is existing.

Re:A Cautionary Yay (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 10 months ago | (#44170047)

I don't believe the can make it work without significantly different hardware than what is currently available. That means that for most situations, running a new cable would be cheaper than adding costly hardware on both ends.

Re:A Cautionary Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44170517)

Well, I think it's pretty nice that I don't have to suffer this 350Mb/s cable (with an order of magnitude slower upstream) much longer. Although it's probable that I'll soon have a gigabit fibre option too it's always better to have a number of options.

neat idea (3, Interesting)

X0563511 (793323) | about 10 months ago | (#44166319)

The noise-cancelling scheme sounds interesting. The hardest part though is figuring out what exactly is noise - so it sounds like they would have to either invert the intended signal to cancel it out on the path to the noise measurement, or they would have to periodically turn the signal off so they can get a clean measure.

Re:neat idea (3, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | about 10 months ago | (#44166767)

My VDSL link from AT&T already does noise measurement. Buried inside of the web page for the magic box on my end, I can see a graph of what portions of its spectrum it is actually using.

Seems to work OK: There is a very neat notch which corresponds with a nearby AM broadcast tower.

Meanwhile, it doesn't have to turn off the entire signal all at once. Just parts of it. One end says "Hey, George, we're going to turn off 1.6MHz and look for noise there," and the other end says "OK Bob. Let's do it."

Or at least, that's one way. *shrug*

Re:neat idea (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 10 months ago | (#44170455)

Mmm true - or even just use a consistent "rotation" to do it, in that the rotation is a waveform itself that the other end can sync to - then there's no negotiation to be worried about!

Or you can send bursts of a signal (along with such a scheme or just periodically) and the other end can know what was sent (prearranged?) and with some simple subtraction it has a noise profile

Sorry. I enjoy thinking about this kind of thing. Can you see the sidebands around the AM tower as well? Or is the resolution not good enough to differentiate it from the carrier?

Re:neat idea (1)

adolf (21054) | about 10 months ago | (#44170837)

It is interesting stuff to me also. I made a screenshot:

http://s23.postimg.org/rw44oefaz/1330am.png [postimg.org]

It's a graphical representation of the frequencies that are deemed most useful for my particular circuit (which is an edge-case at around 3000 feet.)

No idea about sidebands since I don't work with AM, or anything else in that part of the spectrum. And the other notches are unexplained as well.

Re:neat idea (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 10 months ago | (#44170903)

Well basically when you modulate a carrier (AM is modulating the amplitude of the carrier with the data signal) half the energy ends up in the carrier signal, and the other half gets split up between to sidebands that sit to either side of the carrier on the spectrum. The sidebands are mirror-images of each other.

There's techniques to suppress them (meaning you don't waste half your transmission energy on redundant signal) but broadcast AM/FM radio doesn't utilize it. Other advantages mean a more efficient use of the spectrum (ie, a whole other signal can sit where the other sideband used to be).

This article [wikipedia.org] should lead you down the rabbit hole ;)

Interestingly, if you use that modulation mode specifically (AM, single sideband suppressed carrier) and tune the oscillator a hair off the mark, you sound just like the X-Wing pilots in the original Star Wars movie...

Re:neat idea (1)

ModelX (182441) | about 10 months ago | (#44170429)

There's unpredictable (random) noise and there's predictable noise. You can't do much about random noise except for trying to determine how much of the noise there is in particular frequency bands. But you can work around predictable noise. The general idea is for the telco equipment to run a bundle of connections in sync. Then they can correlate noise going from connection to connection in a bundle. Then they modify signals transmitted to a particular connection to include anti-noise component, that is a negative of the signal that is expected to be radiated by the other nearby connections. Well actually they have to modify all the signals to run each connection optimally, the math can be done.

Noise canceling is NOT the key. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 10 months ago | (#44171695)

The noise-cancelling scheme sounds interesting.

If you'll read TFA a little more closely than the OP did, you'll find that the noise-canceling thing is NOT how they got the 1G-ish single-pair link to work.

What the noise-canceling thing is about is when you have TWO OR MORE pairs bundled into a single logical link. Then it figures out what the cross-talk between the individual pairs looks like and cancels THAT out. This lets the individual signal pairs run as fast as a lone pair and the total bandwidth of N bundled pair be N times the bandwidth of one, rather than substantially less.

great announcement (3, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 10 months ago | (#44166325)

Wow, so as long as you're in the same building as Alcatel Lucent, you're all set. You know, I think 802.11ac goes over 1 gigabit/s and reaches 100 meters on a good day. Maybe they should just go with that. I can't wait until fiber puts all these awful DSL companies out of business along with their ancient technology. AT&T really needs to go and TDS is pure evil too. Those are the big 2 around here. Time Warner's fiber backbone and 15 megabit coaxial-based internet for about $38/mo crushes them and yet some people are dumb enough to still go with AT&T and their legendary support and "pay 4x the value for your own modem up front and install it yourself" policy. You can actually get 50 megabit download speeds on a connection for under $100 around here too. Good luck with that, AT&T.

Re:great announcement (2)

hattig (47930) | about 10 months ago | (#44166423)

Most likely this will be used for the last 100 metres from the cabinet to the home, in a Fibre To The Cabinet (or Curb) scheme.

Yes, the article mentions this at the end.

Re:great announcement (0)

afidel (530433) | about 10 months ago | (#44166625)

Dude, this isn't going to reach from the cabinet, it'll have to be in a small box at the curb and at that point why bother, just run a piece of glass or plastic and have a network that will work for 25+ years instead of a 5 year stop-gap measure. To put this in perspective we run into 100m limitations within a single building, it often requires carefully planning where to place the IDF(s) to make sure that all drops are within the 100m length limit for ethernet, using this for a last mile solution is stupid.

Re:great announcement (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44166853)

Dude, this isn't going to reach from the cabinet, it'll have to be in a small box at the curb and at that point why bother, just run a piece of glass or plastic and have a network that will work for 25+ years instead of a 5 year stop-gap measure. To put this in perspective we run into 100m limitations within a single building, it often requires carefully planning where to place the IDF(s) to make sure that all drops are within the 100m length limit for ethernet, using this for a last mile solution is stupid.

well do you want to rewire an entire apartment block with ethernet or use this? that's what it pretty much boils down to.

Re:great announcement (2)

Chuckstar (799005) | about 10 months ago | (#44167033)

Why do so many comments in this thread assume everyone lives in a single-family home? In an apartment setting, it's huge cost savings to avoid having to rewire that last few hundred feet to the individual units.

Re:great announcement (1)

fsterman (519061) | about 10 months ago | (#44168399)

In an apartment setting, it's huge cost savings to avoid having to rewire that last few hundred feet to the individual units.

But the ongoing maintenance costs of maintaining proprietary network gear would be more expensive, wouldn't it?

Re:great announcement (1)

Chuckstar (799005) | about 10 months ago | (#44170481)

Do you think that just because you used the word "proprietary"? I'm not really sure what maintenance cost you're talking about. There's replacing failed gear and... what am I missing? And why do we believe it will be any more maintenance intensive than fiber gear?

The cost of running fiber through an existing apartment building can be huge. In some cases, costs can be high enough that it almost doesn't matter what the ongoing maintenance costs are.

Re:great announcement (1)

afidel (530433) | about 10 months ago | (#44168551)

You're still going to run into problems unless it's a fairly small apartment building, 10 stories up is half your limit and then you still have two horizontal runs that max out at ~60-70'.

Re:great announcement (1)

Chuckstar (799005) | about 10 months ago | (#44170581)

Including horizontal runs, 100 meters probably gets you coverage for most buildings up to 15 stories. Really wide buildings usually have multiple telephone risers and you'd put a converter at the base of every riser. Taller than that really depends on how the existing telephone lines lay out within the building. You could probably put an additional one of these on the 15th floor, within the riser, for many 30 story buildings and be covered up to 30 stories (getting a single fiber line up the riser is no problem). Once you're up to 30 stories, you've covered all but a handfull of apartment towers in the U.S. There will be some big buildings where the wiring layout doesn't really work for this, but it would be relatively rare.

Re:great announcement (1)

Megane (129182) | about 10 months ago | (#44168295)

I estimate my house as being about 500 wire feet from the box, and I'm not even halfway down the block. This is clearly better for apartment blocks, which have their own problems in covering that last 300 feet. One head-end per typical 16-unit block would be just right.

Re:great announcement (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 10 months ago | (#44168541)

Over a distance like that, you can just use ethernet and repeaters. There's no need for anything more expensive or exotic than that.

Re:great announcement (1)

Megane (129182) | about 10 months ago | (#44169913)

You try running Ethernet through an existing residential building. Then you can tell me how cheap it was.

Re:great announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166509)

Time Warner's fiber backbone and 15 megabit coaxial-based internet for about $38/mo crushes them and yet some people are dumb enough to still go with AT&T

I switch from TimeWarner to AT&T when TimeWarner started implementing caps in my area. They decided it wasn't worth losing customers and retreated. I considered switching back to TimeWarner when I moved, but they refuse to give honest prices online for their services. At least with AT&T I can see what I get for a price. TimeWarner has all sorts of secret tiers and you can't get a listing of what channels come with each tier. Anyway, I'm glad I was able to help you avoid caps. I AT&T died, TimeWarner would cap and raise prices, but you keep on calling me stupid if it makes you feel smart.

Re:great announcement (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | about 10 months ago | (#44166933)

Their secret pricing is super-annoying and theoretically illegal -- how can you sign a contract without knowing what the rate will be when the promotion ends??? Ridiculous. It's just fodder for a class action lawsuit that will yield $5 coupons off an HBO subscription... but I digress.

I ditched TimeWarner back when Code Red was making the rounds on Windows boxes and they shut off inbound port 80. I complained and several support people told me they considered web hosting "an enterprise service" and if I wanted to run a webserver I should upgrade to Business Class.

Jerks.

Just so you know, AT&T was and is trying to enable Uverse caps. My understanding from a year ago or so was that they were having technical troubles with implementing it so they only issued caps for traditional DSL users.

They are also an evil company, don't get me wrong. I was super irritated when they started charging me a monthly fee for my 5 year old RG. At least send me a new one (preferably a tiny one).

World's tiniest violin solo for me,
-l

/first world problems

Re:great announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166513)

After the second time I lost my internet connection and was told by Time Warner that it would be over a week before someone could come out and even LOOK at fixing the line, I left for AT&T and never looked back. Not that I like AT&T but... In a world of the cable/telco duopoly, I'm stuck with the worst two...

Re:great announcement (1)

Alarash (746254) | about 10 months ago | (#44166549)

Their approach is exactly the same as "Fiber to the Building." In FttB, you get a fiber, well, to the building and plug that into a router/DSLAM. Then you patch in the lines of that building into the DSLAM. The last 100m is usually VDSL, which is about 150 Mbps symmetrical. ALU simply updated that to be 1 Gbps.

You can't compare DSL to Wifi because wired connections are typically more reliable than wireless (not even discussing security concerns here) and less prone to noise and generate less radio waves (duh).

Re:great announcement (1)

wesk (2662405) | about 10 months ago | (#44166557)

I haven't looked into satellite service in a long time, but cable isn't an option for me. I'm grateful for my DSL service.

Re:great announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166601)

you can have towsands of wires in a single cable tunnel, how many users can you serve with that 802.11ac at 1 gigabit/s at the sami time witout each of them getting less than 1gbit/s?
radio bandwidth is and always will be limited, cable bandwith is just dependent on how many cables you can pull (and the dorsal bandwidth offc).

Re:great announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166673)

I'm not sure where you are. But where I am, I have a pick between Comcast and AT&T, and AT&T can easily provide speeds faster than your "amazing" 15 megabit. And of the two evils, AT&T is the lesser. Comcast is the devil.

Google fiber on the other hand would create a better competition, so they better hurry getting here.

Re:great announcement (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 10 months ago | (#44167543)

I think the real benefit is at longer distances:

With the help of vectoring, G.fast also works over multiple copper lines at the same time. Vectoring already improves the performance of VDSL2 to 100Mbps over existing copper connections at up to 400 meters by removing crosstalk interference.

OK, so, 100 Mbps at the scale of a block is the real point here. Well, 100 Mbps would be a huge upgrade from my current cable speeds.

To me, 1 Gb at 100 yards sounds like the answer to a backwards question: "how close would we have to get to hit the benchmark speed of 1 gigabit?" (That is, unless a very cheap repeater can be easily spliced in to the copper).

What an improvement over gigabit ethernet! (2)

dills (102733) | about 10 months ago | (#44166409)

With gigabit ethernet, you can go 100 meters with cat6 wiring.

So, all this provides is the ability to use a single pair instead of two pair...at the expense of having equipment to terminate it at each end.

This has zero applications for delivering broadband. Nobody is within 100 meters of a DSLAM.

Re:What an improvement over gigabit ethernet! (3, Informative)

hattig (47930) | about 10 months ago | (#44166459)

Lots of people are within 100 metres of the cabinet however, in a FTTC scheme.

And perhaps this method also works to improve bitrate at longer distances too.

Re:What an improvement over gigabit ethernet! (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 10 months ago | (#44166655)

At that point you might as well just run the last drop and pay much less for the needed equipment. A fiber modem plus a router with good ol' Cat 6/1000 BaseT will definitely be cheaper than said fiber modem plus DSLAM plus a DSL modem per customer.

Re:What an improvement over gigabit ethernet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44170311)

At that point you might as well just run the last drop and pay much less for the needed equipment. A fiber modem plus a router with good ol' Cat 6/1000 BaseT will definitely be cheaper than said fiber modem plus DSLAM plus a DSL modem per customer.

I have a cable pole in my backyard. We do not have a lane way. I don't think you realize how much of a pain it would be to string new cables to every person's house from the cabinet.

It should also be noted that Cat6 UTP is a pain to terminate, and won't last long in the outdoors. Let's not get into grounding issues either. Even inside a DC, Cat6 needs to be done properly or any little noise will cause glitches.

If I wanted to I could get fibre to my house right now, but the installation fee and monthly costs would be quite high. I'll trust the ITU to get things right using G.fast, and let the telco work towards FTTC in the medium-term. I'm at 25/10 in an urban area, and am content for now.

Re:What an improvement over gigabit ethernet! (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | about 10 months ago | (#44167333)

100 metres as the crow files, maybe... but within 100m of cabling, which often doesn't follow the most efficient path? Heck, my house is 10m from a VDSL-enabled telecoms cabinet but I happen to know that my house is actually connected to one that's 80m away (as the crow flies) and that there's about 150m of cable between it and my phone socket.

Basically no-one would get to see that 1Gb since, as TFA states, they managed to get 800Mb/s over 100m over a single brand-new cable and got 500Mb/s over an older single cable. No word on how nicely it plays with cables longer than 100m, so I'm suspecting not terribly well.

Might be better and scale better than VDSL but this still smacks of bloating the numbers so as to splash an "up to 1Gb/s!!!!!!" banner all over the advertising.

Re:What an improvement over gigabit ethernet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166473)

This has zero applications for delivering broadband. Nobody is within 100 meters of a DSLAM.

well funnily enough I am. and connected directly to the exchange, meaning I cannot get fiber until we get FTTP. and that's not going to happen any time soon in my neck of the woods.

Re:What an improvement over gigabit ethernet! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44166613)

Which you have to run to each house, sounds not very practical.

Phone lines are already going to each home, so this is great for fiber to the neighborhood then use the POTS line since it is already there.

Re:What an improvement over gigabit ethernet! (1)

slaker (53818) | about 10 months ago | (#44166619)

Funny, true story:

My uncle was classified as a "First Responder", so according to some or other Homeland Security policy he's federally mandated to have always-on high speed internet access in his home.

There's nothing but state parks and corn fields around his property for probably five miles in any direction. Cable TV isn't even available in the nearest town, which has a population of a few hundred people.

So Verizon bought a 5m x 5x plot of cornfield directly across the street from his house and built a tiny little exchange. It serves my uncle and six homes that happen to be near enough to access it and it's the fastest DSL connection I've ever used.

The point is to use existing wiring (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 10 months ago | (#44166637)

The point is to make the best use of the likely-decades-old "telephone wire" going from the "pole," "telephone box" (for underground wires), or in some cases, "neighborhood fiber box" to the customer's "internet box" (e.g. DSL modem).

This wire is typically no better than "CAT-3" and frequently far worse, electrically speaking. If it's older than a few decades, it's probably chosen for low cost and voice-grade capability. It may also be run close enough to other wiring that it will pick up noise that is tolerable on an analog-era POTS line but problematic on a digital line.

Re:What an improvement over gigabit ethernet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166863)

Generally available gigabit equipment uses four pairs of a CAT6 cable, not two.

Re:What an improvement over gigabit ethernet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44167359)

This works WITHOUT your typical CAT5/CAT5e cables. Phone cables are CAT3 at best,
Likely the speed can gracefully degrade that rate if the conditions are ideal while Ethernet drop by a factor of 10.

This is the type of things for putting in the basement of a condo/apartment (MDU), so 100 meter should be okay.

As for 802.11ac brought up by someone else, that's SHARED bandwidth by everyone within the reach. I can see 40+ different wireless routers in my apartment, so it is useless for reliable high speed connection in high rise.

Re:What an improvement over gigabit ethernet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44167469)

1000bT Gigabit Ethernet actually uses all 4 pairs of your good old CAT-5e or better cable. This Gigabit DSL is actually very useful for providing broadband internet from a cheap and small "Outdoor DSLAM" [google.com] to everyone within 100m.

Re:What an improvement over gigabit ethernet! (1)

afidel (530433) | about 10 months ago | (#44168473)

1Gb @100m doesn't require Cat6, only Cat5, 10Gb @100m requires Cat6A (Cat6 isn't used in any official standard, there's an annex that calls it out for distances to 55m but it was never adopted and real world testing shows a drop off in reliability around 37m)

Re:What an improvement over gigabit ethernet! (1)

adolf (21054) | about 10 months ago | (#44171037)

Apartment buildings.

If the walls are already up, and the phone wiring already exists, and none of it is Cat-anything: Put the DSLAM (or whatever) in a closet, just like you would a gigabit switch.

And done.

Sure, it costs money. But so does any other chunk of infrastructure that people are willing to pay for.

(Also: Cat6 is unnecessary for the gigabit standard that we commonly use today, 802.3ab, which says you can go 100 meters on Cat5. Even Cat5e is overkill. Cat6? Meh.)

*SIGH* now if only the teclos would deploy it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166489)

I'm running on 10/1 cable modem in Central Florida. I can't get DSL at the house - it's not available for any price.

Lightning strikes blew up a bunch of landline phone connections in the neighborhood recently, including mine. I saw the tech working on the repair at my box, which is two doors down from me, about 150 feet from my house. I took him a bottle of cold water because I wanted to get a look at the inside of the box. Chatted with him for a few minutes while he was swapping cards and drinking the water.

The phone company has *fiber* running to the box, along with 110 volt DC to power the equipment. The box then connects landline phone service to 24 houses in my neighborhood over copper. The tech smiled as my eyes got big. They could put in a VDLS2 DSLAM at that location and I could get 100 megabit symmetric. The tech said, yep, but it'll never happen.

What would it cost? $20,000? If I could get half of my neighbors to chip in, I bet we could BUY the damn equipment for the phone company. Yeah, lightning would probably blow up the the DSLAM unit itself every year or two, but I think 24-port DSLAMs are about $1500.

(Heh, captcha is "spurned")

Try some political pressure (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 10 months ago | (#44166683)

Depending on local and state politics, political pressure and "public shame" can overrule bean-counters.

Re:Try some political pressure (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44167573)

...and then Johnny woke up in the real world and realized he'd been dreaming of imaginary places again...

I mean, "public shame"? Are you for fucking real?

Re:*SIGH* now if only the teclos would deploy it.. (1)

Caviller (1420685) | about 10 months ago | (#44168893)

I work for a univerity that just overhauled our DSL system with VDSL2. One 24-port DSLAM (VDSL2 with ADSL2+ fallback) costs us $4K......without any educational pricing. We are getting stable 20/5 connections within 5000 feet. And our copper plant is 40+ years old!!!

Probably doesn't matter (2)

MetricT (128876) | about 10 months ago | (#44166493)

The phone companies have long since proven they aren't going to make any further substantial investment in their copper networks, and are simply determined to milk them for as long as possible. They are in fact actively trying to shed their copper networks and go wireless, which has less regulation and higher profit margins.

The odds of AT&T/Verizon making a huge investment in technology that will be lucky to last a couple of years (fiber scales to 10 Gb fairly simply, and cable can probably get close with future revisions of DOCSIS), in a domain they are actively withdrawing from, is pretty much zero.

Re:Probably doesn't matter (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 10 months ago | (#44167107)

I read somewhere that British Telecom has a stock market value that is lower than the scrap value of the copper cables it owns. I suspect many other companies are in a similar position, and it shows why they aren't that keen to install new copper cables.

Why does DSL still exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166507)

Anything slower than 20Mb/s is positively criminal

Re:Why does DSL still exist (1)

alen (225700) | about 10 months ago | (#44166555)

FIOS is 15/5 in NYC for the cheapest tier. why would i want something faster? netflix needs 3-5 mbps

Re:Why does DSL still exist (1)

afidel (530433) | about 10 months ago | (#44168653)

The last Olympics needed ~6-7Mbps for 720p, ~8-10Mbps for 1080p so if you had two people in your house who wanted to watch different sports you'd very tight at 720p and SOL at 1080p. Those streams were also pretty blocky, the realtime compressors probably could have used 2-3x the bandwidth to make things smoother.

Re:Why does DSL still exist (1)

alen (225700) | about 10 months ago | (#44168909)

so upgrade to the highest tier service that month

what do you need it for every day?

Re:Why does DSL still exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44170525)

Many people get "deals" on their contracts, so changing your contract means getting rid of your grandfathered temporary deal. Example, maybe my ISP offered $30/m for 10Mb as a one time deal during a back-to-school month. If you change your contract, you cannot get that deal back because it is no longer offered.

And who is so cheap as micromanage their month-to-month contracts?

So just a more expensive Gigabit Ethernet then (1)

Psyberian (240815) | about 10 months ago | (#44166527)

As someone with an ISP in the DSL game. WTF? So Gigabit at 100 meters? Isn't this really just Gigabit Ethernet over a single pair? And really, who is within 100 Meters of their DSLAM. That would cover maybe four homes.

Re:So just a more expensive Gigabit Ethernet then (2)

Imagix (695350) | about 10 months ago | (#44166599)

Or the majority of an apartment building which already has twisted pair running to each suite.

Re:So just a more expensive Gigabit Ethernet then (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44166663)

You run fiber to the curb, then use this to deliver that to the home.

Re:So just a more expensive Gigabit Ethernet then (1)

Psyberian (240815) | about 10 months ago | (#44166765)

If your running fiber to the curb, just run PON and go fiber to the home. less latency, cheaper, better overall.

Re:So just a more expensive Gigabit Ethernet then (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44166803)

How is it cheaper to run new fiber than to use the existing copper?

A considerable amount of cost is tech time, which has to mesh with time when users are home. That means doing a single block can take a week or more.

Re:So just a more expensive Gigabit Ethernet then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44168055)

The cost of the DSLAM node near the curb is much more expensive than a passive-unpowered optical splitter.

Re:So just a more expensive Gigabit Ethernet then (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44168123)

Yeah, but what about the encryption and all other BS you will need for PON?

Re:So just a more expensive Gigabit Ethernet then (1)

Psyberian (240815) | about 10 months ago | (#44170001)

PON is just an example, but there are other fiber options. We handle it by controlling the endpoints and not allowing user supplied endpoints. Or official hand off is the Ethernet port, not the fiber.

Re:So just a more expensive Gigabit Ethernet then (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44170081)

Yeah, because no one could ever put in their own endpoint. I hope that is not your actual answer.

The handoff can be fairy dust, if the fiber is on my property you had better not just trust the endpoints like that.

Re:So just a more expensive Gigabit Ethernet then (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 10 months ago | (#44166757)

Considering DSL's promises, 100 Mb/s at 100m would be very lucky (and a lot more expensive than Gigabit ethernet, which is dirt cheap).

The only practical application this has is in fiber to the Curb/Building scenarios, where Fiber is run to a local, central location and then distributed via some other interface. Using DSL would theoretically allow for existing wiring to be used, but that sounds like major trouble in the making. It's much easier to just run fiber to the customer's premises and give them a fiber modem and crappy thomson router, considering the work that would probably be required to re-use existing phone cabling. Even cheaper is using Gigabit ethernet, instead of DSL, if they really want to keep fiber outside.

My love of copper and the Problem with FIOS... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166715)

When FIOS came to my neighborhood, most people cheered. I didn't. Not because I didn't want the higher speeds, but because I was concerned about the bigger picture. The baby bells (mine being Verizon) were ordered by the courts to share their copper with competing companies. My understanding is that they were under no obligation to share their fiber. As a result, they've been ripping out copper everywhere they can to replace it with fiber.

I understand that the copper infrastructure was aged and probably a pain to maintain... but to me (at the risk of sounding like a socialist) that was simply justification for my locality to take it over to lease to communications companies. What I now have is 2 choices for internet connectivity (Verizon and Cox Cable) where under DSL I had at least 8. Yes, the DSL was slower (depending on your distance from the CO) but I'd have traded slower internet for greater freedom had the choice not been taken from me.

I don't like Verizon, and I only like Cox a little better. When DSL Extreme was a reseller for FIOS, I loved it because I really liked doing business with DSL Extreme, but Verizon yanked their reseller agreement forcing lovers of the FIOS service to either move to Verizon or abandon their Fiber for cable. I went to cable. A new technology such as this along with its continued development to perhaps extend its range is a wonderful thing, however for me, it is a hope denied because my internet infrastructure was essentially chosen for me. I am probably standing against a tidal wave to caution people to think long an hard about implications of putting yourself at the mercy of a small number of communications companies. It is important for them to do so however... if only for the fact that besides financially holding us over a barrel, they monitor us.

Re:My love of copper and the Problem with FIOS... (1)

Psyberian (240815) | about 10 months ago | (#44166889)

I'm assuming Verizon was your ILEC. Even if you had 8 DSL providers, they all used Verizon copper and either leased Verizon lines, or resold Verizon services. So they all had to deal with Verizon. In my case, Qwest, now Centurylink is the ILEC. They hate to share, they make it nearly impossible charge exorbitant fees, and their local techs flat out blackmail and lie to us on repair issues. So we are doing more and more fiber. We still have to fight the power company for pole space, but once on we are good and we own our own plant, so we are not just renting lines and losing money. xDSL is still good in a lot of cases, but it is becoming harder and harder to deal with. What we need is the FCC to for cable providers to share. Right now they have monopolies in their markets and are overcharging for services they could make much better.

I see big headlines. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44166817)

Just wait for big DSL providers to announce.

"As response to cable companies we now offer 1Gbps speeds over existing copper line, however there is little or no demand for these services"

AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44167179)

I can hear AT&T ignoring this technology as fast as they can.

pointless (4, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 10 months ago | (#44167353)

I work with this kind of equipment. The problem isn't the last 100 feet... we've got tech that will do 100mb @ 30,000 feet relighably. If we could get that to people they'd be thrilled. The problem is the trunks leading to the DSAs. They cost upwards of a million dollars a pop to install, which is barely cost effective in city centers... but get out in rural areas where cable companies don't even bother to serve and you have as few as 12 people off a remote. Sorry, but that's only going to get 2 T1s feeding it if they're lucky. Gigabit speeds to and from equipment fed by a 3mb trunk is useless.

The real problem with broadband is the link between the CO and the remote. This goes for DSL and Cable. solve that problem and rural broadband will explode. Cable doesn't even have facilities in those areas so it would have to be over phone copper. Get gigabit speeds on 10+ miles of unshielded copper pairs... that's the goal. Good luck.

Re:pointless (1)

ledow (319597) | about 10 months ago | (#44169143)

I have to echo this.

Over 100m, Gigabit over copper is already trivially possible. My computer has it built-in, so has anything you've bought in the last few years.

The problem of local connections such as 100m is solved. We're there. It's not a problem. Even a community project that threw Cat6a round the village could do a half-decent job of it at Gigabit speeds over even longer distances.

The problem is the link back to some Internet-connected point, as always. As you say, it's pointless (and quite easy) to have Gigabit in every house on some island in the middle of nowhere if you don't have a decent uplink to the rest of the world and all the intermediary connections.

Like my home network. I have Gigabit all round the house and wireless at stupendous speeds that don't get that far. But my connection to the Internet is 30Mbps, so apart from shifting files locally, it's pointless to worry about it. But if I had Gigabit to the Internet, you can be sure I wouldn't piss it away on 100Mbps connections around the house.

Any idiot can build a network at 100m distances. Community projects have proven that random people can easily work out how to cover a kilometer or so (farmers digging up their fields and laying their own copper/fibre). It's the joining that to the Internet in general (i.e. a leased line of some kind, with decent capacity to cope with everyone beyond it, connected direct to a major Internet hub) - that's the real problem.

Re:pointless (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 months ago | (#44171023)

Over 100m, Gigabit over copper is already trivially possible. My computer has it built-in, so has anything you've bought in the last few years.

The problem of local connections such as 100m is solved. We're there.

This is just stupid. Yes, gigabit ethernet works over CAT-6 data cabling. But guess what? Phone lines AREN'T CAT-6 data. Phone lines are commonly CAT-1 voice. Unshielded, untwisted, etc. If you're super-lucky, some of your phone lines MIGHT be CAT-3 voice, but that's also NOT THE SAME THING AS CAT-3 DATA cabling, either.

And if you're suggesting replacing all phone lines with CAT-6 data cabling, you're insane, and don't have any comprehension of the subject. At that point, you'd be far better off using fiber.

Re:pointless (1)

ledow (319597) | about 10 months ago | (#44173885)

No. I'm not. My point is that Gigabit Ethernet over copper is not anywhere close to "state of the art", and hasn't been for a long time - given the fact that even the cheapest of netbooks comes with a Gigabit Ethernet port capable of similar things. Hell, 10G is buyable today if you know where to look, and 40G is on the way. Yes, it's over twisted pairs, but if you can do 40G over twisted pairs, it's because of the technique and the error correction methods - NOT THE CABLE. The cable helps - obviously - but is mainly designed to reduce interference at the frequencies you prefer, reduce cross-talk, etc. The techniques, however, apply in equally similar fashions to even one single POTS pair (if you can do 40G without interference, you can go 1G with interference, especially if you tweak the parameters to optimise for the cable that's in place).

My point isn't that you can string Cat6 down the road (though that CAN and HAS happened in certain community projects, because it's a perfectly viable method - what's the difference between wiring a site 100m with external Cat6 and wiring a village with houses 100m apart with external Cat6?) - that's not practical for a large scale project, however - my point is that this isn't a shock or something new that's never been done before. Hell, we can ALMOST do this over wireless nowadays, subject to regulatory approval.

This is like when people were crowing about getting fast connections to their cabinet 100m away, after several years of me using 10Mb Ethernet at home consisting of a BNC cable that I knocked up from a set of video connectors as a kid with cheap NE2000's on either end. There, the cabling was basically the same (modulo some interference), and it served so well that it was only supplanted when I had to upgrade to a PCI card which was 10/100 without BNC connectors.

You look, and you think - so what? I can heath-robinson something 10 times better over the same distance. I'm sure if we bothered to design it properly that 512Kb DSL to a cabinet down the road would be embarrassing by comparison.

And, as stated, it's the uplink that matters. If the cabinet doesn't give you what you can have, then it's not worth worrying about Gigabit DSL. Fact is, if I lived in a small village, with 100m at most between houses, I'd buy a leased line and cable / wireless people's houses for them if I was allowed. If we constrain ourselves to what we can achieve over 100m, you do have to compete - in people's minds at least - with Ethernet and the associated standards.

The real selling point for a tech like this would be that you could get 100Mb over 10km, not 1000Mb over 0.01km.

Re:pointless (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 months ago | (#44174067)

if you can do 40G over twisted pairs, it's because of the technique and the error correction methods - NOT THE CABLE.

This is massively, totally, completely, and utterly untrue. It seems to be at the heart of why everything you've said is wrong, and as I said before: "stupid".

You can go down to your nearest tool store and buy phone line by the foot (commonly "CAT-3 voice"). Get about 100m of the stuff, and crimp some RJ45 connectors on the thing, Hook it up between two computers with GbE NICs, and try sending some packets back and forth. Let me know how well that works out for you.

Re:pointless (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 10 months ago | (#44170969)

we've got tech that will do 100mb @ 30,000 feet relighably. If we could get that to people they'd be thrilled.

They might be thrilled, TODAY, but two+ years from now they'll be moaning about their slow DSL service, and eying cable and FIOS.

Re:pointless (1)

TheSync (5291) | about 10 months ago | (#44171319)

The problem is the trunks leading to the DSAs

By the way, DSA means "Digital Service Area", the area of customer premises served by a DSLAM (remote/outside plant or inside plant).

Re:pointless (1)

antdude (79039) | about 10 months ago | (#44173467)

Is that why my dial-up sucks due to line noises and only connecting 24000-31200 speeds (mostly 28.8k and 3 kB/sec)? :(

How Far for 50Mb? (1)

Kagato (116051) | about 10 months ago | (#44167947)

There's a ton of people on VDSL2 that get between 5-7Mb. Usually in the 2500-3000 meter range. It would be interesting to see how much of a boost these technologies could lend. Getting 30-50 Mb with a simple DSLAM and Modem swap would be game changer.

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44168457)

can't one just have a x.y table of bit-pattern on each end of the copper line and then just send a smallish lookup
address to the table to say:"okay bob, you got the big fibre optic connection on your end. now could you
please lookup the 8-bit (*or whatever) pattern in table located at x=1A and y=07 and send that?"
so if both ends have a coherent table (same table) then a smallish data packet can reference a huge pattern?
fyi, i'm a DSL supporter. also my physics are just not up to snuff 'cause i can't seem to understand that
dedicated copper wire could be slower then air (wifi).

Re:I don't get it (1)

ledow (319597) | about 10 months ago | (#44169043)

What you're suggesting is compression.

As the data gets larger and the possibilities grow, the size of the information to reference that information gets as big as, if not bigger, than the information itself.

And, at best, you'd get something roughly equivalent to gzip'ing HTML pages, zipping up PDF's, or compressing images (all of which already happen as part of the standard protocols).

This is big... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44170009)

For everyone saying things like this don't matter: look again.
The huge cost of improving the networks is putting cables in the ground. The closer you get to the customer, the more expensive it gets.

Vectoring (the noise-cancellation technology) allows 100-120 Mbps at 500 meters. G.fast allows even faster speeds, but closer to the customer.

This is basically the path to fiber for DSL networks. Just like cable operators have a hybrid fiber-coax network, DSL providers also introduce fiber step by step.

Re:This is big... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44171399)

Running fiber to the premises is almost the cheapest part. The most expensive part by far(60% of the total cost on average), is sending someone to each house to run the fiber from the premises into their dwelling unit plus the customer equipment.
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