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December 8, 2014

1Gbps broadband standard gets final approval

G-fast delivers broadband speeds up to 500 Mbps over a distance of 100 metres.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

The latest G.fast broadband standard which could provide broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps over copper, has been signed off by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

G-fast uses a frequency range of 106 MHz for data transmission to deliver broadband speeds up to 500 Mbps over a distance of 100 metres.

The main benefit is that it’s much cheaper to install than fibre to the premises (FTTP) and customers will be able to install it themselves, according to ITU.

However, it is it’s not as fast as FTTP, and that, like ADSL and VDSL, speed falls off with distance.

In a statement, the ITU said: "G.fast will increase the feasibility of implementing bandwidth-intensive services such as Ultra-HD ‘4K’ or ‘8K’ streaming and next-generation IPTV, advanced cloud-based storage, and communication via HD video.

"The standard will comfortably serve the broadband access needs of small-to-medium enterprises, with other envisioned applications including backhaul for small wireless cell sites and Wi-Fi hotspots."

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Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum, says the Forum is currently working with the ITU to develop a test suite and certification programme for G.fast systems, which will include interoperability, functional and performance testing.

"We have already set our first plugfest for January 2015," he said.

Companies have already started shipping G.fast chips and routers in small quantities with implementations expected to enter the market before the end of 2015.

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