Home Industry Strategy A spanner in the NBN works? Alcatel-Lucent gets 100Mbps over 1km of copper

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In a development that could have profound impacts for Australia's NBN, and the ongoing negotiations between Telstra and the Government, Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs has achieved a DSL downstream bandwidth of 300Mbps over 400metres (100Mbps at 1km) using two copper pairs.

Alcatel-Lucent's press release quoted Ovum analyst, Kamalini Ganguly, saying: "Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs' DSL Phantom Mode lab test adds a whole new dimension to the ongoing '100Mbps for all' debate. The fact that existing copper loops can facilitate 300Mbps at 400metres reshapes the whole next-generation broadband competitive environment - and will open up a wide range of new business opportunities for 'traditional' DSL players.

"This announcement shows that Alcatel-Lucent is seriously looking at all possible innovations to help its customers speed up the deployment of next-generation access networks, through a smart mix of advanced copper and fibre technologies."

If the technology can be commercialised economically within the next few years it could have a significant impact on Australia's NBN. Clearly the possibility of its network being able to deliver 100Mbps via DSL to customers 1km from the exchange would considerably increase the competitive threat the Telstra's existing network could pose to the NBN.

The throughput was achieved using a technology called "DSL Phantom Mode". Gee Rittenhouse, head of Research for Bell Labs, suggested that it has very real commercial possibilities.

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Stuart Corner

 

Tracking the telecoms industry since 1989, Stuart has been awarded Journalist Of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (twice) and by the Service Providers Action Network. In 2010 he received the 'Kester' lifetime achievement award in the Consensus IT Writers Awards and was made a Lifetime Member of the Telecommunications Society of Australia. He was born in the UK, came to Australia in 1980 and has been here ever since.

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