Telecoms specialist Sckipio has announced the launch of G.FAST digital subscriber line (DSL) equipment capable of hitting 2Gb/s over traditional twisted-pair copper, as it looks to offer an alternative to expensive fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) rollouts.
For years, a pair of twisted copper wires was all that connected households to the national telecommunications network - and for many, it's still the only option. While cable broadband providers offer high-speed connectivity over co-axial cable and fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) promises even higher speeds, those who are not part of the network can expect to lag behind in the broadband speed stakes.
G.FAST is one potential answer. UK communications giant has already been experimenting with G.FAST technology
as a means of providing higher speeds to users without the expense of replacing the twisted-copper last-mile network. During its recent small-scale trials, the company hit speeds of 786Mb/s down and 231Mb/s up over a short, 19 metre run, dropping to 696Mb/s down and 200Mb/s up at 66 metres. Sckipio, though, claims to have a production-ready technology which uses copper-pair bonding - using two cable pairs, rather than one - to beat that with a claimed overall throughput of 2Gb/s over short distances and 1Gb/s over distances up to 300 metres.
The last figure is particularly important: while BT's trials hit 1Gb/s in aggregate over a short run, many premises are situated farther away from the cabinet at which the connection can transition over to a fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) network. With the same performance proved at 300 metres, Sckipio's implementation would be able to offer high-speed networking to a greater percentage of UK homes and businesses - and, the company claims, offers a real alternative to DOCSIS 3.1 and FTTH implementations at a lower cost.
Sckipio has not yet indicated whether any UK ISPs have purchased its latest G.FAST implementation, nor when support for the standard is likely to reach consumers.