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There’s life in the old copper yet

Malcolm Turnbull has a point about FTTN. Copper is showing itself to be more resilient than many would have you believe.

Copper is more than cable of delivering speeds up to 100 Mbps on a fibre to the node network, if vectoring is applied. That’s the claim on this week’s podcast from Stefaan Vanhastel, a Director in Alcatel Lucent’s Fixed Networks Division, based in Belgium.

Kamalini Ganguly, an analyst at Ovum, describes how FTTN networks are being deployed across Europe and the US, as operators attempt to match speeds offered by competing cable providers.

Here iiNet, through their acquisition of TransAct are the only operators of a VDSL network. John Lindsay, their CTO, says he expects it will increase speeds on parts of their network by as much as 50 percent.

Meanwhile, what’s required to deliver common applications, like video, is decreasing. John Maizels, Governor at Large (great title!) at SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) says the h.265 codec will deliver a better picture than its predecessor, with half the bandwidth requirement.

The moral in this tale? Technology is a moving feast. That surely makes a nonsense of any approach to prescribe a technology over any time period – particularly over eight years or more.

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