Terabit DSL could be with us soon
Connectivity speeds of over a terabit per second are now possible over existing copper infrastructure thanks to previously-unexploited waveguide modes. This is according to John Cioffi, chairman and CEO of ASSIA, a company which develops and sells products for managing broadband and residential Wi-Fi networks. Cioffi said high-frequency sub-millimetre waves can increase single-line data rates to terabits per second at 100 metre lengths on ordinary twisted pair phone wire.
“Speeds of 100 Gigabits/second can be achieved at distances over 300 metres, and speeds of 10 Gigabits/second can be achieved at distances over 500 metres,” said Cioffi. Waveguide mode use is similar to the use of millimetre-wave transmissions in advanced wireless and 5G networks. “Waveguides can enable the use of frequencies above 100GHz for extraordinary speeds.”
Cioffi said he does not expect anyone to need “terabits per second” to their home anytime soon, but these speeds can be valuable to data centres controlled by phone companies. Internet companies such as Google and Microsoft can also benefit. “While Tbps demand may be a few years into the future, 10-100Gbps speeds are important to networks today and will be a big market,” said Cioffi.
Rapid advances in IoT, including autonomous vehicles, means the number of connected devices requiring high-speed ubiquitous connectivity will increase dramatically in the next decade. “We believe that Terabit DSL will play a critical role in serving the needs of that ecosystem with ultra-high-throughput and ultra-low-latency connectivity.” He said fibre is, and always will be, expensive to deploy, and that there are a billion phone lines around the world which are able to deliver fibre-like speeds.
“Using the existing wires in place can dramatically reduce the cost of 5G networks,” said Cioffi.