Gigabit speeds may soon be possible over phone lines

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Gigabit Internet speeds over telephone lines may soon become a reality with the release of a new technology standard called G.fast. It is a technology that lets copper telephone wires compete with fiber, and has finally been standardized, opening the way for affordable, interoperable equipment running at up to 1Gbps.

G.fast gives copper broadband a new lease on life. It offers speeds at up to 1Gbps at distances of up to 100 meters. As the distance increases, the speeds decreases to about 150Mbps over 250 meters, according to the ITU.

Tests conducted in the last two years have shown G.fast is capable of impressive speeds. For example, earlier this year British network operator BT said download speeds of around 700Mbps and upload speeds at 200Mbps over a distance of 66 meters were achieved during a field trial. G.fast gives operators some flexibility to decide the split between upload and download bandwidths.

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