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gfast map nov

Dark Green: Firm commitments from incumbent: BT (10M), Belgacom, Australian NBN, Swisscom,  Austria, Bezeq Israel, Chunghwa Taiwan, Telus Canada, Telekom South Africa, SK Korea, (U.S.) AT&T, Century, Frontier, Windstream, Belgium, Omantel

Mid Pink: Smaller carriers in Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan

Light Green: Incumbent likely:  France, Germany, Italy

Hurricane Katrina NOAAMany carriers prefer in buildings where full fiber is expensive to run. AT&T has been very unclear which of their 12M+ planned homes would get fiber to the basement/ and which would get fiber all the way. They've brought fiber to a million commercial locations and I believe more than 10,000 cell sites. It's relatively inexpensive to extend some of that to residences, well under $1,000/home. (The quotes from Bill Smith are from an excellent Alan Breznick interview. Smith, then CTO of BellSouth, led the recovery after Katrina. He's always worth listening to.)

By late 2014, competitors saw AT&T begin a massive "fiber" build in apartment buildings, complementary to their commercial fiber. AT&T engineers played a major role in defining The standard was written to the needs of AT&T and British Telecom.

Everyone in the business was developing products, confident AT&T would be interested. I wrote that many of the "fiber to the premises" lines would be fiber to the basement and from there. I also wrote that anyone who was sure what AT&T would do was uninformed. I inferred that from hearing different things from various parts of AT&T. They hadn't made up their mind.

The March LR interview confirmed the decision still is open. Smith is hopeful that, "Turns out to be part of our arsenal." Bill added, "The big opportunity for is in the MDU space,"  AT&T is deeply involved with the community, watching England and all the others starting to deploy. The vendors are constantly visiting with the latest good news.

As CEO Stephenson said a while back, running fiber has become much less expensive. Smith tells LR, "We're way, way beyond meeting that target," referring to a $1,000 install cost. But retrofitting fiber most places will always cost more. "We just can't figure out a better way to dig a trench." Lower fiber costs are important around the world. Free in France reports, "It's quicker, less expensive. We've learnt a lot."

AT&T told Wall Street they would begin cutting capital spending after 2014. They had LTE to a claimed 98% of the country, almost catching up to Verizon. Project VIP, which brought fiber to almost every business, was mostly done. They had virtually stopped U-Verse, deciding to go wireless-only to more than ten million homes. 

Keeping capex down implies they will not fiber most of their customers this decade. 12M+ homes is one of the largest fiber builds in the West but is well under half their U-Verse footprint and little more than a quarter of their footprint. They may or may not do more next decade, depending on their decisions on 5G wireless.

Fiber home or fiber basement? Yes. 





it's quicker, less expensive. We've learnt a lot

The Site for gfast 230 News

I’m still working through remarkable presentations from the Broadband Forum events. Michael Weissman, Bernd Hesse and team did a remarkable job choosing the speakers.

Deutsche Telecom: 35b Supervectoring Delayed to 2019
Broadcom is now over 3 years late. DT briefed German reporters after their financial call and revealed 35b was now delayed until 2019. 35b should deliver 200+ meg downloads 500-600 meters, a crucial tool for DT, which is losing share to cable. Cable now covers about 70% of Germany and is expanding. DT now only offers 50-100 megabit DSL while cable is often 400 megabits, going to a gigabit. 

The problem is software; the hardware is shipping and supposedly will work. DT says 35b is not ready to turn on. Broadcom in 2015 said 35b was in "production" in the press release below. Alcatel in early 2016 said to expect complete systems very soon. "35g is very similar to 17a so there should be little delay."

Broadcom's problems are leading major telcos and vendors to have a plan B, using Sckipio DT itself is planning extensive deployments in 2019, mostly in apartment buildings.

Gigabit 100 Meters - Unless the Wires are Lousy
Speeds are fine, "Unless there's a line problem." I've been reporting for three years that ~10% of lines have problems. In the chart by Rami Verbin of Sckipio, he finds goes ~130 meters on good lines. Poor lines have about half the reach. 

His chart roughly matches the reports from Swisscom, Belgacom, and England for both & vectored DSL. The 10% with problems can cause the majority of the line-related complaints to support. The angry customers drive up cost.

Rami's solution to reach the gigabit is bonding, supported on the Sckipio chips. Verbin made some additional points:

  • 4 gigabits is possible by bonding two decent 2 gigabit lines.
  • Even in a service from remote cabinets, ~25% are close enough to get a full gigabit."
  • cDTA and iDTA are practical ways to deliver much higher upstream by switching some bandwidth from downstream to upstream only when needed.
  • 35B will probably be similar but Deutsche Telecom doesn't expect to deploy until 2019.

AT&T Wants Coax 2-5 Gigabit Very Soon.
AT&T faces intense competition from cable, talking about 10 gigabits in both directions. (Cable will only be 1 gig down, ~100 meg up, until ~2021.) AT&T wants something to brag about as well.

AT&T gained millions of lines of coax as part of the DirecTV deal. Alcatel and Huawei are leading the development of G.mgfast. That uses 424 MHz, full duplex, to achieve ~2.5 gigabits in both directions. The reach on telco twisted pair is only about 30 meters. On coax, those speeds can probably extend far enough to service most apartment buildings. Using 848 MHz, speeds can reach 5 gigabits. The ITU standards group has been aiming for 2019-2020 for G.mgfast, too slow for AT&T's marketers. David Titus wants a high-speed standard for coax "early in 2018." He believes that is "doable."

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