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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

New-Hope-180"DSL is terrible, but it doesn’t have to be," writes Rob Pegoraro, who has written regularly for The Washington Post and USA Today. He's on target that the telcos offer about half the country an awful service, 10-15 year-old DSL at speeds of 2-10 megabits. That's terrible today and customers are flocking to cable. But he also reports that #1, AT&T and #3, Centurylink, are getting serious about at 500 megabits and more.

Rob picked up my comment, " will be a real factor in 2017 but for a relatively small number of homes," and went on to call "A new hope." My guess is that both AT&T and Century will start deploying widely in the second half of 2017.

AT&T is actively looking for apartment buildings in Qwest territory for WTTR, wireless to the rooftop. The cost difference between and other copper technologies is so low companies not going are making a mistake. That's particularly true for Deutsche Telecom. which faces cable going to a gigabit in most MDUs.

AT&T is not officially using, but it's the natural way to go. T also has millions of apartments with a DirecTV antenna on the roof and coax currently used to share the video throughout. It's natural to use wireless to the roof or fiber to the basement + Sckipio offers over coax and it is working well.

Maybe, Rob adds, because and fiber may not be deployed before cable takes all the customers. 

FCC study shows DSL is terrible, but it doesn’t have to be

[Rob begins the article reviewing the dismal DSL results reported by the FCC Measuring Broadband America.]

A new hope, maybe

That does not, however, mean that DSL is the rotary-dial phone of broadband. Already-deployed and upcoming advances to the technology can breathe more speed into it, at least for subscribers living close enough to the nearest “central office” network node...

But a newer tweak to DSL, suitably named, can do even better in residences sufficiently close to the nearest node — up to 500 Mbps.

In September, CenturyLink (CTL) activated the biggest deployment of in the U.S.,bringing 500-Mbps access to some 800 apartments in Platteville, Wisc. That choice of dwelling reflects the underlying physics here: has the shortest range of all DSL technologies.

As a result, CenturyLink spokeswoman Stephanie Meisse said the firm plans to focus on using to connect apartments, small office buildings and houses to existing fiber lines—saving itself the cost of extending fiber the last few hundred feet.AT&T echoed that assessment, calling a way to bring some of the same speed as fiber to apartments with less upfront work.

“ will be a real factor in 2017 but for a relatively small number of homes,” predicted Dave Burstein, publisher of the technical publication Fast Net News.

Felten, however, questioned how much sense this upgrade would ultimately make, given that it doesn’t scale to match demand as well as fiber. “Quite quickly the deployment costs become comparable to fiber to the home.”

None of the above

I suspect most readers would be content if their current phone provider would choose between upgrading to fiber or deploying souped-up DSL that still competed with cable speeds. But the risk is that they’ll do none of the above.

At Verizon, that seems to be the case. Spokesman Raymond McConville said the firm “is looking at” but has no plans to deploy it yet.

That would leave a lot of customers to stick it out with increasingly uncompetitive speeds or hope for some future salvation.

Maybe 4G LTE’s successor, 5G wireless, will emerge from its current cloud of hype to provide fast downloads without the traditional, restrictive data caps of mobile broadband. Maybe President-elect Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan will include a broadband buildout, something Hundt called a “holy cow” possibility.

Or maybe cable will continue to lock up the residential broadband market. You all are okay with that, right?

(Verizon has made an offer to acquire Yahoo Finance’s parent company, Yahoo.)

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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