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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Mastrangelo

Copper – The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Although fiber-based Gigabit broadband is all the rage at the moment – there is no lack of interest in continuing to squeeze every last bit of bandwidth out of the copper plant.

This week’s Broadband World Forum has been flooded with announcements of trials and products as this technology is expected to be commercially deployed in just a few short months.

Alcatel-Lucent making one last big Fixed Broadband push before it becomes part of Nokia made a number of announcements including:

  1. Introduced a 16 port DPU with integrated vectoring 2.0

  2. Launched its Vplus technology which bridges the gap between VDSL2 Vectoring and  Vplus allows operators to deliver aggregate speeds of 200Mbps at distances up to 500 meters, and 300Mbps on copper loops shorter than 250m

  3. BT & Alcatel-Lucent announced lab trials of XG.FAST which delivered  5.6Gbps over 35 metres of BT cable as well as aggregate speeds of 1.8Gbps over 100 metres

Sckipio announced additional OEM partners using their chipsets – including ZyXEL and CIG.    Additional, they announced in partnership with Calix a demonstration of bonding enabling 1Gbps aggregate at 250m.

This is particularly important – as initial deployment models were focused on 100m or less in order to achieve speeds of 500Mbps or greater.  However, operators have expressed strong interested in both higher densities and longer loop lengths for deployments.

Calix – a leader in gigabit fiber deployments – made it clear that it has not lost its copper focus by announcing the following related to and Vectoring:

  1. 16-port sealed and environmentally hardened DPU sealed fed by gigabit passive optical network (GPON) and point-to-point Ethernet technologies

  2. 16-port MDU node for controlled environments

  3. Calix also announced new system level vectoring (SLV) solutions  that deliver up to 96 vectored ports without a dedicated vector processor card (VCP)

  4. Finally, Calix introduced 2 new VCPs  – one to vector up to 192 ports and one to vector up to 384 ports.

Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) recently announced a trial of fiber-to-the-basement (FttB) technology in Carlton, Melbourne, attaining throughput speeds of 800Mbps at 100m.  NBN plans to expland its trial in 2016 with commercial deployment expected in 2017.

The Certification Program at UNH-IOL announced its plans to launch during the first half of 2016 with the first certified devices also expected in 2016.

While the future is fiber – deployment on a wide scale will take decades.  VDSL2 Vectoring and continue to offer interim solutions that can support the growing demand for bandwidth, as operators build out their fiber networks.

It is also important to note that many of these ultra-broadband copper nodes are being fed with FTTH technologies – such as GPON and Ethernet – seeding the plant (so to speak) for future FTTH deployments.

Who needs diamonds and pearls?  Copper seems to be the gift that keeps on giving.

For further reading – check out an older blog on this topic at


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