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DT and Adtran reckon the future is still copper

copper cable

With the world talking about the necessity of fibre, Deutsche Telekom and Adtran has taken a different approach, boldly claiming that G.fast is all you need to worry about.

The pair have announced a new series of lab tests which will aim to prove G.fast is a technology which is adequate for the digital economy. The claim is essentially based on an upgraded version of the G.fast technology, with the duo believing it will be enough to meet European Commission’s Gigabit Society goals.

“Operators in highly competitive, dense urban or urban environments are challenged to extend gigabit services due to the time and cost that can be associated with pure play FTTH techniques,” said Jay Wilson, SVP at Adtran. “With G.fast innovation, operators, such as DT, can significantly accelerate Gigabit Society goals by launching gigabit services over their existing infrastructure dramatically reducing subscriber disruption.”

Adtran claims the new 212MHz G.fast standard doubles the usable spectrum, which will allow service providers to deliver gigabit rates over a single copper pair. It is claimed that in contrast to cable systems, the bandwidth of G.fast is dedicated and available for each customer. Apparently, this will improve upstream performance by four to five times, allowing DT to meet the demands of the European Commission without the major disruptions which are associated with fibre deployment.

It is certainly an interesting move by the pair, as while it does appear logical, the same argument did not sit particularly well in the UK. BT has long been preaching the benefits of G.fast, with its argument built on the idea of the tech being a suitable halfway house on the road to fibre connectivity. It’s a balance, according to BT, customers want faster speeds, but don’t want the disruptions associated with fibre deployment or the increased costs. This is a suitable means to sort-of achieve the speeds whilst also keeping people happy.

As mentioned before, this is not an argument which was particularly well received, but perhaps this is an indication of the type of consumer we now are. We want the best, with none of the pain associated with becoming the best. Perhaps the situation will be different in Germany, after all, the Germans are stereotypically much more logical than us in the UK. Maybe they will be more accepting of the argument.

In any case, it is certainly an interesting move from DT and Adtran. When the world is screaming fibre, screaming copper back at them is a unique strategy.

Elsewhere in the Adtran world, the firm has signed a contract with nbn to ‘advance high-speed broadband access to the citizens of Australia’ (whatever that means). The executed supply agreement covers software, hardware and services, which includes commitments from both companies to support the ongoing nationwide network rollout. We wonder whether the Ozzies will be happy with the copper argument, after all, they are the most logical and considered people around…


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