LRE offers alternative to ADSL

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LRE offers alternative to ADSL

A telco in Finland has employed Cisco's Long Reach Ethernet (LRE) technology to breathe new life and greater bandwidth into its existing copper wire, writes Antony Adshead.

Oulu Telecom has employed LRE equipment to create a system which it claims is capable of delivering digital TV, broadband Internet access and telephony at rates of up to 15mbps, both upstream and downstream.

The company plans to demonstrate how LRE can be used for "last mile" applications - the link between the telephone exchange and the user's premises - as a rival to ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line), which only offers downstream rates of up to 8mbps and upstream rates of 800kbps.

LRE is based on VDSL (Very High Bit Rate DSL) technology at the physical level, with Ethernet running on top. It can deliver over existing Category 1, 2 or 3 wiring by getting extra capacity out of old copper wire through more efficient use of the cable's potential to carry radio frequencies.

As Oulu Telecom's work demonstrates, this will allow service providers to deliver high-speed Ethernet services using existing copper wire networks, as used for telephone or TV cabling, without the need to deploy Category 5 cabling, which is usually necessary for Ethernet.

LRE also has a greater physical reach than standard Ethernet and can be effective up to a distance of 1,515m.

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