G.fast Bridges the Annoying Gap for Fiber Internet

Subject: General Tech | December 15, 2013 - 03:02 AM |
Tagged: itu, gigabit broadband

And now for something a little different from what we normally report on. G.fast is a telecom standard which allows really fast (capable of over a gigabit) communication over moderate distances (~a quarter of a mile) using standard telephone cable. The point of this standard is to avoid installing infrastructure between the end of a fiber roll-out to the neighborhood and the insides of every individual home.

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Eh, it looks enough like a phone cord.

The hope that it will trigger another wave of infrastructure improvements for upcoming "Ultra-HD" (4K and 8K) video services and online storage solutions. Installing fiber seems to be treated more like self-obligation than a necessary upgrade. This solution would not even require a technician to enter the home much like we currrently have with ADSL2.

I do have lingering concerns, however, with the reliability of fiber-optic networks. Copper infrasturcture was designed to be resilient. I wonder how reliable G.fast will be compared to this legacy network in areas prone to natural disaster. It sounds like standard telephone services will, unlike a fiber-to-the-home solution, function in a power outage at least at the home level but what about one localized to that neighborhood? Then again, this is definitely not an area of my expertise.

The ITU wants G.fast to be finalized "as early as" April 2014.

Source: ITU

December 15, 2013 | 05:16 AM - Posted by nerbne (not verified)

GFast is garbage our Government went to an election talking about starting at VDSL2 & being able moving to it but they just found out it's going to be much harder then using a full Fibre connection. The expected build time & cost is much higher then originally thought just a few months ago.

Really what needs to be done is to use electricity polls to run the rest of the fiber to the home which greatly reduces costs & roleout time. That's a new option that has been presented which is now more of a reality it saves on not having to rent lines or ducts & not having to do as much of the work underground.

December 15, 2013 | 02:07 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You misspelled resilliant. It is spelled resilient.

December 15, 2013 | 02:40 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud


December 17, 2013 | 11:09 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

[quote]I do have lingering concerns, however, with the reliability of fiber-optic networks. [/quote]Don't be. Fibre is MUCH more physically resilient to damage and interference than copper (especially the barely-twisted UTP used for POTS lines). Minimum bend radius, pull strength, moisture susceptibility, etc, fibre wins out in every category.

If you're talking about POTS specifically: it's only reliable if you happen to have a line-powered telephone (i.e. not a cordless handset) plugged in, and that whatever power outage that is affecting your end is not also affecting the local exchange. Everything beyond the local exchange is transported over IP anyway, so the "if a trunk goes down you can still call locally" feature of the PSTN went away long ago for providers who haven't implemented similar redundancy for their IP backbones (which one would hope would be all of them).

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