Adtran recently hosted a week-long meeting with international industry leaders to discuss the G.fast standard, intended to help service providers address the costs and physical restrictions that exist in trying to deliver faster fiber optic systems to homes and businesses.
The mouth-watering vision is widespread commercial deployments of gigabit residential broadband services, lightning fast broadband everywhere tied to 100Mbps regulatory goals being set by the U.S. government and European Union.
The kink in the fiber optic cable, if you will, is getting that last segment of fiber right-of-way — trenched under a street or yard, pulled through home walls or up building ducts and risers — which can be expensive and time consuming.
Adtran’s G.fast solution enables aggregate uplink and downlink data rates of up to 1 Gbit/s over existing copper telephone wires shorter than 820 feet. Thus, service providers don’t have to go those final intrusive yards with fiber optics.
How would that much bandwidth improve your life? Kurt Raaflaub, a senior manager for carrier networks marketing at Adtran, says that gigabit speed is not beyond the pale. Ultra high definition TVs delivering a picture four times clearer than HD are on sale now, though their $5, 000 price tags can be startling.
Those prices, though, are bound to come down. And businesses have their own reasons for needing more bandwidth, depending on what they do on the Internet.
“Every decade we’ve been wrong every time, by at least a meg (megabit) or two, about how much bandwidth we need, ” Raaflaub says. “Why not wake up and not make the same mistake this time, get 10 times more speed than what we think we need, and not have to tear up the infrastructure quite so much?”
Text by Dave Helms