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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

Windstream-mapWorld leader British Telecom is praying they'll get 200-300 meg at 400 meters. Update 7/28 Windstream is the first using bonding, which means the numbers are not so crazy. Still unlikely, however. *** Thomas told investors he will get double the reach. Sean Buckley of Fierce reports Windstream will deploy Update 8/6 Removed 2017 date. Might be 2016.*** They have a million DSL customers, down 40,000 on the year, scattered in the U.S. South and Midwest. Only 26% of those customers can get 50 megabits, while cable across most of America is at 200 megabits headed to a gigabit. As you can see in the press release below, Windstream, like Frontier, is selling 20-~60 megabit service as "up to 100 megabits." 

CEO Tony Thomas is a finance guy who needs to spend more time listening to his engineers. Buckley quotes, " amendment 2 has a lot of potential and we're working with our vendors to make sure that can go into the products as we look towards 2017," Thomas said. "You'll be able to get 200-300 Mbps speeds at further distances of 2,000 to 3,500 feet from the home." Both theoretical studies and the early chip designs don't expect those speeds to go nearly that far.

BT has now installed thousands of lines in their test districts, very few of which get 300 megabits at 300 meters. A very optimistic estimate for 200-300 megabits would be 500-600 meters. That would require shutting down all the existing DSL lines to recover the first 22 MHz. The drop off beyond that distance is very rapid; the higher frequencies used just can't travel very far in copper phone lines. The expectation at 1200 meters would be closer to 50 megabits - iff the technology improves. More fiber and field terminals will be needed to get to cable-like speeds.

Finding the funding won't be easy. Windstream is carrying $10B in debt on less than $1B in equity. They've been selling assets to cover a dividend that is much larger than GAAP income. Their bonds are junk-rated. For the sake of their rural customers, many of whom can't get cable, let's wish them luck. 

Computerbild calls claims like the below a "DSL Disaster: The lies of the Internet provider (DSL-Desaster: Die Lügen der Internetanbieter)".


Windstream now provides speeds of up to 100 Mbps to more than 1,000 markets after upgrades

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Jul 05, 2016

Windstream now provides speeds of up to 100 Mbps to more than 1,000 markets after upgrades

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN), a leading provider of advanced network communications, has completed network upgrades across 15 states to bring faster Internet speeds of up to 100 megabits-per-second (Mbps) to residential and small business customers in more than 1,000 markets.

Windstream now offers premium speeds of 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps to 26 percent of its customers and expects to reach 30 percent by the end of 2016.  In addition, almost half of all customers have access to speeds of 25 Mbps or greater today.

“Expanding access to faster Internet speeds is our highest priority,” said Sarah Day, president of consumer and small business for Windstream. “When we announced Project Excel last fall, we made a commitment to accelerate our plans to upgrade broadband speeds. This expansion and surpassing 1,000 markets that now have access to premium speeds are significant milestones that reflect the hard work of our employees and our commitment to continuing to make upgrades to our network.”

Announced in 2015, Project Excel is a program to accelerate the company’s plans to further upgrade broadband speed, increase network capacity and improve the customer experience.

Premium speed availability is dependent upon geographic location. To find out if faster speeds are available for a specific home or small business, please visit

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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