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Networking United Kingdom

BT To Test Huawei 1Gbps Broadband Over Copper 77

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the dream-of-dsl dept.
judgecorp writes "BT is testing a different fiber broadband topology FTTdp (Fiber to the distribution point) and G.FAST, which could give 1Gbps broadband speeds at its research site Adastral Park in Britain. FTTdp pushes the network fiber closer to the user's premises than FTTC (Fiber to the Cabinet). In many cases this is less than 250m, a distance at which it's possible to get 1Gbps over the copper phone network using G.FAST, a new variation of VDSL broadband ."
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BT To Test Huawei 1Gbps Broadband Over Copper

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  • BT used to do interesting things, and was about to d oa very early fibre rollout before Thatcher stuck her beak in, but it's been playing catchup with the rest of the world since it was privatised.

    • You may find comfort in the fact that most European government-owned telcos went down the same road.
      At least BT has some international presence.
      • by mjwalshe (1680392)
        Telefonica has in south america *nudge *nudge* *wink* *wink* or should that be *inocent smile* (tm) Sally Bercow
    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      yes wish I could mod you up it was done deal all the plans had been made and coasted just needed the go ahead. but no "pretend" competition was preferred which made a ton of money for those in the city the investors in cable lost their shirts and Richard Branson picked most of it up for a song in the fire sale.
      • Yeah. I'm not sure whether she hated "socialism" or "free markets" more, but she did as much as she could to make sure Britain enjoyed the features of neither.

    • by abigsmurf (919188)
      Wait... is this the same nationalized BT that wouldn't let 'upgrade' my phone line from rotary to touch tone dialing without paying a massive fee?

      Read some of the horror stories about people who had to deal with BT for company phone systems whilst they had a monopoly. Outdated, awful equipment that you had little choice to go with because there was no one else to choose from.

      I find the romantic view that people take of nationalized monopolies amusing. British Rail is another example. Awful punctuality
      • 1) Wait, you're whining that companies charge you to upgrade stuff? You do realise that parts and labour cost money, yeah? And that what might seem trivial technology today wasn't trivial 30 years ago, yes?

        2) BT only existed for 4 years as a distinct state monopoly (1981-4), and that was in preparation for privatisation. During this time, Thatcher deliberately retarded development - hence abortion of groundbreaking fibre rollout. If you heard horror stories about having to deal with BT in the '80s, the prob

        • Re: 1) How does charging £125 (about $200 at today's exchange rate) for some bloke in an office to press a button grab you?

          • Because, dear boy, money was already invested when the exhange equipment was upgraded - obviously you can't do these things subscriber by subscriber - and you're paying your contribution of £125 when you decide to make the switchover.

            You might as well ask, "Why do LLU ISPs charge me £60 to move a cable between two sockets?" Or why does any service charge a setup fee when clearly the shit is already in place? Honestly this isn't rocket science.

            • I'm not saying that I shouldn't have been charged - just that it seems way out of proportion to the effort involved, even with some of it covering initial costs.

              If anyone has some (UK-centric) figures regarding typical exchange costs, expected lifetimes, and subscriber numbers, etc and can show that this figure isn't some over-inflated profit grab, then I'll happily stand corrected...

              • "...it seems [guilt]..."

                "If [proof of innocence], I'll happily stand corrected..."

                I'm sure you realise you were hasty with your accusations, but it's better to withdraw rather than to dig a further hole.

                Anyway, you're referencing the upgrade from electromechanical to electronic exchanges which happened through the early '90s. You weren't paying for the DTMF ability, but a contribution toward the whole exchange system being rebuilt. And much of the work happened after privatisation, when they were entitled t

                • Hasty? No... this happened in 2007

                  The utter fuckup that was the 80's privatisations... now that I can agree with.

  • by codeusirae (3036835) on Monday October 21, 2013 @10:58AM (#45188767)
    "FTTdp pushes the network fiber closer to the user's premises than FTTC (Fiber to the Cabinet). In many cases this is less than 250m, a distance at which it's possible to get 1Gbps over the copper phone network using G.FAST, a new variation of VDSL broadband"

    Throughput depends on the quality of the copper and the properties of the earth it's buried in. There's also cross-talk to consider which can lead to a reduction of 2/5ths in the worst case scenario.
    • by MightyYar (622222)

      I wonder if the reduction is proportional to what we get with DSL currently? For example, if I only get 1.5Mbps from my "up to 3.0Mbps" DSL line, I wonder if this would translate to an approximate 500Mbps with this newer technology. If that is the case, then I'd still sign up :)

      • by neokushan (932374)

        Very doubtful, the reason you're getting "up to 3.0Mbit" is because it's largely a guess based on how far away from the Exchange they think you are. The 1.5Mbit is likely because there's more copper than they anticipated, the copper is of low quality or you're actually using an aluminium line which is even worse.
        Still, the closer you are to the fibre, the less significant the drop-off is. ADSL, ADSL2 and VDSL2+ all end up at about the same speed after a certain length - http://www.internetstreams.co.uk/imag [internetstreams.co.uk]

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      The UK might have a larger diameter copper wire too. 24 AWG (0.5 mm)??
      But the distance is very short. This might be good for optical in the basement? At 250m thats a lot of powered, cooled, powerful cpu nodes needed in cabinets out in suburbia. Might as well just run optical all the way in many areas as cross talk/noise will add up fast?
      • by Albanach (527650)

        At 250m thats a lot of powered, cooled, powerful cpu nodes needed in cabinets out in suburbia. Might as well just run optical all the way in many areas as cross talk/noise will add up fast?

        You've not been to Britain, have you?

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          The problem for any modern telco is the cooling, power use, limited optical to node to optical home upgrade options while passing on the very expensive copper up keep costs.
          Once this tech is installed its limited to the copper quality, length, cross talk and only a few people can request limited optical back to the node upgrades.
          For all the talk of a wonderful future network over existing copper, thats the service level thats a broadband min? 20? 25Mbps?
          http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/03/why- [ispreview.co.uk]
    • by mrbester (200927)

      "Last mile" (normally less as mentioned in TFA) is normally suspended wire.

  • From the 16 July ITU press release [itu.int]:

    ... G.fast is designed to deliver superfast downloads up to a distance of 250 meters, thereby eliminating the expense of installing fibre between the distribution point and people’s homes.

    Because that's what this is all about. It's yet another excuse not to make the investment we've all been waiting so long for. And besides, most subscribers will not be within 250 meters of their DSLAM anyway, crosstalk can still lead to a significant reduction in performance an

    • by SkunkPussy (85271)

      I get 16 Mbit upload from my BT Infinity. On the one hand its less than 1/4 of my download speed...on the other hand, I used to have download speeds that were worse than that!

      • by FridayBob (619244)
        With ADSL2+ here in the Netherlands I used to get as much as 16/1 Mbps down/up. Then in mid-2008 DSL became so popular in my neighborhood that the resultant crosstalk reduced my download speed to less than 8 Mbps. I now have the option to upgrade my connection to VDSL, but for some reason I'm not too enthusiastic about it.
    • Because that's what this is all about. It's yet another excuse not to make the investment we've all been waiting so long for.

      You've been waiting for maybe - there's not much point in having a whizz-bang FTTH network if it's too expensive to afford. Better to have something that's a much lower cost and good enough for most people. How many people would even notice the difference between 40 Mbps FTTC and 1 Gbps FTTH?

      • by FridayBob (619244)

        Here in the Netherlands FTTH is not at all that expensive. I currently have an 8/1 Mbps ADSL connection for about EUR 30.50 a month, while a 100/100 Mbps fiber connection from the same provider costs EUR 55.93 a month (in 2005 I was still paying around EUR 80.00 for the fastest DSL connection). There are cheaper providers, but I would prefer mine (XS4ALL) over the competition any day. Moreover, the houses in all recently built neighborhoods in this country already have fiber connections instead of copper (

        • A 25 euro per month premium is quite a lot though - it's about double the typical premium for FTTC over normal ADSL in the UK. The major ISPs here seem to view the market as very price sensitive, and are pretty cautious about taking risks. In fact I'm surprised that BT decided to go for any kind of faster-than-ADSL network rollout - they usually prefer to milk what they've got.

          For new builds of course, FTTH makes perfect sense as you've got to lay cable anyway - but there aren't many new builds here despite

    • most subscribers will not be within 250 meters of their DSLAM anyway

      The whole point of "FTTdp" is to move the DSLAM closer to the end user.

      Copper cables run from the telephone exchange to what is known officially a "primary connection point" or more loosely a "cabinet". This is usually a green box by the side of the road. The primary connection point is basically a massive patch panel allowing any line from the exchange to be connected to any customer line. Cables from the PCP then run to distribution points, these may be at the top of poles, on the side of buildings or und

  • So it'll be about 10 years before they start whining they don't have enough money to roll it out and possibly 20 before the general public outside of select areas actually see it as an available product ?
  • by gravis777 (123605) on Monday October 21, 2013 @11:40AM (#45189219)

    Test speeds rarely relate to what consumers can expect to get. In the mid-late 90s (don't remember the exact year) I was in one of the early places to get Cable modems. The ISP was testing 100Mbps as a proof of concept, I had 2Mbps which was the fastest they offered customers. It has only been in the past couple of years that they started offering 100Mbps to customers - so roughly 15 years after it was tested.

    • by wagnerrp (1305589)

      Cable is a fixed speed interconnect. It's 38Mbps per channel, and with DOCSIS 3.0, four channels minimum. If the cable company wants to offer 150Mbps service, you will get that, and you will not need to change any hardware to do so. The issue is that it is a shared interconnect, so you're sharing some 6Gbps of throughput between analog cable, digital cable, and a few hundred of your nearest neighbors.

      DSL is a dedicated, variable rate interconnect. Your transfer speed is dependent only on your own cable

      • by gravis777 (123605)

        Yes, but that wasn't my point - I wasn't talking about the difference between a dedicated connection and a shared connection, I was stating that just because they are running tests on it doesn't mean that people can expect to get these speeds at their homes anytime soon.

      • by Bengie (1121981)
        40mb/s Per virtual channel. A single 6mhz physical channel can support several virtual channels via CDMA. The official spec allows a single device to lock onto virtual channels within the same physical channel. The example given was to lock 8 40mb virtual channels within the same 6mhz physical channel, giving an aggregate of 320mb/s, and you can get near those speeds.

        It is recommended to use separate physical channels as each virtual channel in use increases the floor noise, and a wide spectrum to use all
        • by wagnerrp (1305589)

          40mb/s Per virtual channel. A single 6mhz physical channel can support several virtual channels via CDMA.

          Were that the case, cable companies wouldn't be so constrained for bandwidth as they are, and there would be no reason to ever implement switched video.

          • by Bengie (1121981)
            While you have a lot of bandwidth, you still need some very expensive head units to manage each virtual channel. More limited by money than by physics. At some point it becomes cheaper to just use fiber, even if you can get near the same performance. And that's ignoring all of the other issues with copper vs fiber.
  • G.Fast? Hmph! I've had V.FAST [wikipedia.org] since the 1990s and these savages have only made it up the alphabet to G so far!
  • What are you going to do with all that 1Gbps download speeds when your upload is capped to 512kbps?

    We have been looking at a reliable provider for high upload speeds (uploading big content such as videos.) It seems LTE has got it right now (but signal reliability is not good especially when it rains.) Fiber is not yet available at our area (hopefully it does soon enough.)

    • by jabuzz (182671)

      Standard FTTC in the UK is either 10 or 20Mbps upload depending on your package. It is the primary I upgraded.

  • I recently had BT FTC (fiber to cab) installed in my area. I upgraded to this new system which promised 80mbit/40mbit.
    Dont get me wrong, its a improvement over standard copper ADSL, however, its plagued by basic issues.

    The problem with BT, is major network congestion, and, lack of infrastructure that can actually support the user requirements.
    Regardless of what glorious speed they "claim" to offer you, unless its 4am, you wont get anywhere near it.

    So i'am sorry, but 1Gbps doesn't mean shit coming from BT.
    10

    • by Xest (935314)

      The problem you're dealing with there is contention at your ISP.

      Stop expecting to get a leased line for the same amount as your average kids pocket money.

      Get a better ISP or stump up for a leased line if that's what you want. You can't expect to go for the cheapest ISP offering around and not suffer contention issues - the reason your subscription is as cheap as it is is because you're sharing a segment of bandwidth with a bunch of other people and splitting the cost.

      If you don't want to pay for the full am

      • "The problem you're dealing with there is contention at your ISP."
        No shit. Did you actually read my post?

        "Stop expecting to get a leased line for the same amount as your average kids pocket money."
        Do your homework, or, live in the UK, it helps.

        "Get a better ISP or stump up for a leased line if that's what you want."
        Regardless of the ISP i use, it runs through the BT cabinets (bottle neck 1), and will always touch their main switch centre (bottle neck 2), and only god knows how many hops it takes before it g

        • by Xest (935314)

          I do live in the UK and do understand BT's network. There's no bottleneck at the cabs, or the exchange, both these are kitted out for far higher speeds than are available right now.

          If you're having speed issues it's purely contention at your ISP (or some other problem at your ISP but the symptoms about certain times of day implies contention).

          If you sign up for a business package that guarantees you a specific contention ratio, or none at all, or pay for one of the more expensive ISPs where you pay for your

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