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
- Published: 04 January 2017 04 January 2017
They don't intend to be left behind. AT&T's Tom Starr is one of the key engineers behind G.fast, which was developed based on the plans of British Telecom and AT&T. Their top execs have been enthusiastic about G.fast but carefully didn't commit. January 4, 2017, they announced "Experiments expanding" and that they were "encouraged" by results in Minneapolis. Cable is making strong inroads against U-Verse and destroying AT&T where they never upgraded decade-old DSL. They have to do something. They intend to abandon landlines and go completely wireless to 10M homes. The 12.5M fiber home lines are only about a quarter of their future footprint.
G.fast from basements and rooftops is the natural cost-effective choice and has strong advocates within the company. AT&T spent $billions expanding fiber to 1,000,000 business addresses. Much of that is very close to residential buildings and easy to extend. AT&T is speeding up their fiber home build, now at 4M. The 12.5M target is now moved up to mid 2019. They acquired millions of lines connected by coax to a DirecTV rooftop antenna. G.fast performance over coax is exceptional.
I've reported that T is actively looking for more buildings for WTTR, which likely will migrate from dedicated lines to G.fast.
- Published: 03 January 2017 03 January 2017
"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 G.fast at 500 megabits and more.
Rob picked up my comment, "G.fast will be a real factor in 2017 but for a relatively small number of homes," and went on to call G.fast "A new hope." My guess is that both AT&T and Century will start deploying widely in the second half of 2017.
- Published: 20 December 2016 20 December 2016
PLDT spending $40M over three years. 500 buildings will be connected in 2017, half business and half residential. They plan 1,600 more buildings in 2018 & 2019. They promise "up to 600-700 megabits." That's realistic; today's G.fast from the basement or the roof will usually deliver 500-800 megabits.
The surprise is the inclusion of Korea Telecom's GiGa Wire using Marvell's G.hn chips. KT itself is rolling out millions of lines of G.hn, possibly faster than the worldwide roll of G.fast. G.hn can deliver high speeds without much of the cost and complexity of G.fast. G.fast engineers believe G.hn will encounter severe congestion problems as the networks add more subscribers because of the lack of vectoring. Chano Gomez of Marvell claims real world results are just fine. I'm waiting for some independent data.
Huawei is supplying the G.fast gear,
- Published: 04 December 2016 04 December 2016
Nothing official, but the boss sure seems to have decided. CTO Ibrahim Gedeon spoke twice at Huawei's MBBF in Tokyo. It was a mobile event but G.fast was part of both of his presentations. It's a natural extension to Telus' fiber deep network. He used VDSL to bring video speed service to many homes and fiber home for others. He faces cable almost everywhere and will need to upgrade as Canadian cablecos move to a gigabit. (Videotron in Quebec is already offering gigabits. The cablecos in Telus' Western Canada region will be doing similar.)
Fiber home is working well but is costly. His estimate was $700 to connect a home and sometimes as much as $1,000. (Presumably, he was quoting Canadian dollars, currently worth 25% less than U.S. dollars. $700 Canadian is a little more than $500 U.S.)
A while back, Verizon estimated $600-$700 (USD) to connect a home; they've said it has come down substantially since then. Randall Stephenson of AT&T has confirmed fiber deployment costs have come down substantially.
- Published: 03 December 2016 03 December 2016
An industry leader in test points out the key steps. Lincoln Lavoie at the University of New Hampshire, working with the Broadband Forum, runs the model test lab for DSL. They perform the crucial interoperability testing for the Forum. Working with the Forum, they brought an interop demo to BBWF, to show the world that G.fast chips are effectively communicating with each other.
Lavoie just published an article at Electronic Design, Best Practices for G.fast System Testing. He notes that both VDSL2 & G.fast incorporate "seamless rate adaption (SRA), bit swapping, retransmission, dying gasp, and vectoring," all of which need to be tested. Testing is also needed for G.fast features, "robust management channel (RMC), dynamic resource allocation (DRA), and fast rate adaption (FRA)."
Using a switch, noise generator, digital signal analyzer (signal-capture system), and Ethernet traffic generator, UNH can test most of the features of the equipment.
- Published: 20 November 2016 20 November 2016
Broadcom, Metanoia, and Sckipio chips communicate. For more than a decade, the industry has come together at the University of New Hampshire to confirm chips work well together. No standard - even the 300 pages of G.fast - covers everything. No company is likely to include everything in those 300 pages. But they have to work well in the field. A gateway with a Metanoia chip needs to connect robustly with a DSLAM with a Broadcom chip. Customers hate to be locked into a single source so demand vendors solve the problems.
Live at the Broadband World Forum, the major vendors connected their gear and a Telebyte tester (pictured.) They've been meeting regularly at the new lab at UNH; all report progress but there's still much work to do. Additional plugfests were scheduled for November and January.
Lincoln Lavoie of UNH is The Man on DSL interoperability.