If you're hankering for faster Internets but are stuck without the joys of optical-fibre-to-the-home, take heart: there's a new DSL standard on the horizon which promises 300Mb/s over plain old copper lines.
According to a write-up over on GigaOM
, the technology - currently under development at Bell Labs in the US - behind such speeds is known as DSL Phantom Mode, and holds the key to a major speed boost for those unable to get a fibre-optic connection to the 'net.
The company's claims are impressive: in field tests, Bell Labs has been able to get speeds of 300Mb/s over a 400 metre line, while a more realistic kilometre-long connection still pushed over 100Mb/s.
The technology gets its name from the creation of a 'phantom' channel which Bell Labs claims "supplements the two physical wires that are the standard configuration for copper transmission
" while introducing "vectoring that eliminates interference or 'crosstalk' between copper wires and bonding that makes it possible to take individual lines and aggregate them.
That last part is a clue as to exactly how the technology is able to get such impressive speeds: to scale up to the maximum possible data rates, the system will require multiple lines - which means new equipment both at the telco end and at the consumer end. While implementation of Phantom Mode DSL is likely to be significantly cheaper than a country-wide fibre-to-the-home push, it's not without cost.
Bell Labs has yet to announce when the Phantom Mode technology will become available to consumers - or how much the extra equipment is likely to set people back.
Are you pleased to see people trying to give DSL a new lease of life, or should copper wiring be ditched as archaic and companies concentrating on the roll-out of fibre for truly big pipes? Share your thoughts over in the forums