The Bell Labs R&D division of telecoms giant Alcatel-Lucent has today claimed to set a new world record after they successfully pushed “ultra-broadband” speeds of 10,000 Megabits per second (Mbps) down a traditional copper telephone line using XG-FAST technology, which is an extension of the protocol G.fast (ITU G.9700).
G.fast is a hybrid-fiber technology designed to deliver Internet speeds of up to 1000 Mbps over runs of copper cable up to around 820 feet via 106 MHz+ radio spectrum. The idea is that a fiber optic cable is taken to the curb and then G.fast is used to deliver the last “quarter of a mile”. This would greatly help operators save money as technicians wouldn’t need to dig up your lawn to bury new cables every time a new customer signs up like how FiOS and other fiber services now do.
XG-FAST works in a similar way but via an even shorter run of copper and using frequencies of up to 500 MHz. For example, XG-FAST delivered its top speed of 10,000 Mbps by bonding two copper lines together over just 98 feet of cable. This is similar to how ISDN connections used to work pre-DSL, using two phone lines, or 2 wire pairs. But being from the United States of Backwards Internet Development America I do not expect to see this being used for affordable next generation gigabit consumer broadband anytime soon.