Five gigabits per second over copper achieved in lab trials

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Five gigabits per second over copper achieved in lab trials

Proposed XG.FAST standard offers high speeds over short distances.

Engineers claim to have achieved multi-gigabit per second speeds using standard copper wiring, using an experimental new technology called XG.FAST. 

UK telco BT said it was able to hit 5.6 gigabit per second full-duplex transmissions over 35 metres of copper cable at its Adastral Park laboratory, in conjunction with equipment supplier Alcatel-Lucent. 

High speeds of up to 1.8Gbps were demonstrated over 100 metres of copper during the trials, BT said, although no power usage figures were provided. 

In Australia, Alcatel-Lucent is a supplier involved in the NBN rollout. 

XG.FAST uses up to 500 MHz of bandwidth over copper cabling, and includes the use of vectoring for noise-cancelling and line-pair bonding for increased throughput. 

This contrasts to currently deployed VDSL2 broadband, which uses bandwidth up to 17.7MHz or 30MHz, and 106MHz for G.Fast, a technology NBN aims to have commercially ready from 2017 onwards. 

G.Fast with 106MHz bandwidth is theoretically capable of 700Mbps aggregate speed over 100 metres, and with double the amount of spectrum, it can reach 1.25Gbps over 70 metres. 

The proposed XG.FAST standard has been in the works for the last few years, and could potentially reach speeds of up to 10Gbps over short, 30m distances using two pairs of copper cable. 

Australia's NBN this week announced it had bought 1800km of copper cabling for $14 million as part of its national rollout. 

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