DSL is alive and kicking. Huawei, a global information and communications technology provider, announced last week that they have developed a way to move 1000Mb/s over a single twisted pair. That's right, Gig DSL. But before you get too excited, you should know transmission distance is limited -a familiar concept in the DSL world. Gig speeds can be transmitted only 100 meters before significant degradation. 500Mb/s speeds can be trasnmitted up to 200 meters.

Adding repeaters every 100 meters to extend high speed broadband via copper may not be economocal or practical, but where this breakthrough may siginificantly change things is in bringing fiber to the consumer market. Unlike Verizon's FiOS which required replacement of copper with fiber all the way into the home, providers can now use existing copper to carry the "last feet" of the circuit. That is, run fiber down the road, and copper into homes. This would lead to a significant savings in increasing bandwidth capacity into homes and considerably reduce rollout time.

While news of pumping large amounts of data over a single twisted pair is not new, Huawei's recent announcement is the first announcement of such huge capacity provided by prototype gear. Let's hope this is a step toward making accelerated bandwidth a reality for more Internet users across the globe.
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David Pastore

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