Alcatel-Lucent demos 10Gbps internet over copper

Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent’s R&D arm, has claimed a new world broadband speed record using traditional copper phone lines

Bell Labs, the research department of networking supplier Alcatel-Lucent, has claimed a world record after demonstrating 10 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) internet over traditional copper lines, supported by prototype XG-FAST technology.

XG-FAST extends the broadband standard – currently being finalised by the ITU – which promises speeds of up to 500Mbps over 100m using a frequency range for data transmission of 106 MHz.

Bell has now gone further, increasing its frequency range up to 500MHz to achieve the higher speed, albeit over a shorter distance.

The developers claim to have achieved 1Gbps symmetrical speeds over 70m on a single copper pair, and 10Gbps over 30m using two pairs of standard, bonded copper lines. Its tests did not take into account constraining factors, such as quality and thickness of the copper cable, and cross-talk between adjacent cables.

The supplier says achieving 1Gbps symmetrical speeds on copper could be a major breakthrough for broadband suppliers, enabling them to provide connections indistinguishable from FTTP at lower cost, while sweating legacy assets in locations where it is not physically or economically viable to bring fibre all the way into the premises.

Marcus Weldon, president of Bell Labs, commented: “By pushing broadband technology to its limits, operators can determine how they could deliver gigabit services over their existing networks, ensuring the availability of ultra-broadband access as widely and as economically as possible.”  

Federico Guillén, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s Fixed Networks business, added: “XG-FAST can help operators accelerate FTTH deployments, taking fibre very close to customers without the major expense and delays associated with entering every home.

“By making 1Gbps symmetrical services over copper a real possibility, Bell Labs is offering the telecommunications industry a new way to ensure no customer is left behind when it comes to ultra-broadband access.”

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