Real aim is 250 megabits for a long block. Stories across the tech press picked up the ITU press release headline of 1Gbit/s, but those contemplating deployment will be happy to get a quarter of that speed. Acceptance of the standard has slipped to 2014 and product until 2015, so it will be years before we discover whether the $100's of millions going into research will pay off.
Noise problems restrict the peak speed, although Alcatel reports applying vectoring is improving things. They've reached 500 megabits over 100 meters in lab tests. http://bit.ly/14o8WUk
Proponents think saving the $300-600 cost to run fiber the last few meters will persuade carriers to switch to G.fast from fiber for the last stretch into the home. Skeptics believe that if you're running fiber so close you might as well go all the way. G.fast certainly will offer an upgrade path to AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, relying on VDSL to get to 50-100 megabits if gigabit cable draws away too many customers. That's reassuring to companies like DT, Swisscom, and Telecom Italia that have cancelled fiber builds to save money with DSL instead.
G.fast saves the carriers money by not requiring a power supply. It uses "parasitical power" drawn from the clients' cpe. In addition, Frank van der Putten of Alcatel is confident customers will be able to self-install. Vectored VDSL's biggest emerging problem is the devastating effect bad in-building wiring can have on performance. Too many customers get less than half the expected speed because of bad home wiring, etc. For that reason, at least one major carrier does only technician installs in their vectoring tests, adding $100+ to the cost for each customer.
Toby Johnson of the ITU showed he hasn't lost his newsman's instincts in an interview with van der Putten at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXg_vRaFBpg
ITU Readies New 1Gbit/s Broadband Standard
G.fast Uses Existing Wires to Deliver Fibre Performance at Lower Costs
Geneva, 16 July 2013 – G.fast, a new ITU broadband standard, that promises up to 1 Gbit/s over existing copper telephone wires, is one step closer following a meeting of ITU-T Study Group 15 this week. 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.
The Geneva meeting saw first stage approval of ITU standard, Recommendation ITU-T G.9700, that specifies methods to minimize the risk of G.fast equipment interfering with broadcast services such as FM radio, paving the way for G.fast to be approved in early 2014.
G.fast is expected to be deployed by service providers wanting to provide fibre to the home (FTTH) like services, which will enable flexible upstream and downstream speeds to support bandwidth-intensive applications such as streaming Ultra-HDTV movies, uploading high-resolution video and photo libraries to cloud-based storage, and communicating via HD video.
Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “Since the early days of the World Wide Web, people around the world have accessed the vast resource that has become the Internet via ITU standards. I applaud our membership for continuing to show great leadership in the development of these specifications that bring broadband into our homes at ever increasing speeds and at ever greater efficiencies.”
The G.fast work has attracted active participation by a large number of leading service providers, chip manufacturers, and system vendors.
An important feature of G.fast is that it will enable self-installation by consumers without a technician’s assistance. For service providers, self-install eliminates the expense of deploying technicians to the consumer’s home, thereby also improving the speed at which they can rollout new services. Consumers will benefit from not having to arrange to be at home for a technician’s visit.
“G.fast is an important standard for service providers globally,” said Tom Starr, chairman of ITU-T Study Group 15, Working Party 1, which oversees the G.fast effort. “Service providers will be able to deliver fibre-like performance more quickly and more affordably than with any other approach.”
“G.fast provides the speed of fibre with the ease of installation of ADSL2,” said Les Brown, Associate Rapporteur of the G.fast Experts Group.
The new G.fast standard is being coordinated with the Broadband Forum’s system architecture project, Fibre to the Distribution Point (FTTdp). The ITU-T and Broadband Forum have been working closely to ensure that G.fast solutions can be quickly placed into FTTdp deployments.
Video interview with Frank van der Putten, Rapporteur, Question 4, Study Group 15: http://youtu.be/bXg_vRaFBpg