G.fast, a developing broadband standard promising speeds of 1Gbps over copper lines, is a step closer to being defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Broadband connections defined as G.fast would deliver 1Gbps speeds at distances of up to 250 metres, which could transform services in the UK which rely on Openreach’s FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) footprint.
A meeting in Geneva this week saw the first stage approval of the G.fast standard, specifying methods to minimise the risk of interference on the copper section of a line, something which has seen speeds possible on FTTC currently capped at 80Mbps.
Frank van der Putten, treasurer of the broadband forum at the ITU explains what sorts of speeds and services we can expect with G.fast:
“Hundreds of times faster than ADSL… Services like Ultra HD, cloud services and things online that require a lot more bandwidth, these are evolving all the time. A key aspect will be that G.fast will be a self-install technology. So the end user gets their box from the operator and plug into the phone socket.”
BT has revealed that it’s considering trials with G.fast in the future. Right now, BT is currently trialling vectoring, a process that aims to reduce interference on FTTC lines and provide speeds of up to 100Mbps. BT is also working on a self-install option so that customers who want some fibre-based broadband don’t need an engineer to visit, unless of course they want one.
The ITU reckons that G.fast will be approved in early 2014 after which trials can begin. After testing, the earliest time we could expect to see G.fast services in the home is 2015.
Image credit: Flickr user Flavio~