The International Telecomunications Union (ITU) has reached first-stage approval for G.fast, the new broadband standard capable of achieving access speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s over existing telephone wires.
“From ADSL in 1999 to G.fast in 2014, ITU-standardized DSL solutions have multiplied access speeds by a factor of 125 over the past 15 years. It is to the credit of ITU’s membership and the dedication of engineers working in our study groups that ITU standards continue to maximize returns on investment in legacy ICT infrastructure,” said Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General, ITU.
The ITU said G.fast's fiber-like speeds give service providers a tool to supplement and further monetize fibre to the home (FTTH) strategies with the customer self-installation benefits of ADSL2. Service providers will also benefit from ‘zero touch’ operations, administration and management; easing migrations to G.fast and increasing the speed of new-service rollouts.
As G.fast is designed to coexist with VDSL2, it is expected to enable service providers to play to the strengths of each standard in different environments, switching customers between G.fast and VDSL2 in line with dynamic business models.
The ITU said the physical-layer protocol aspects of G.fast defined by Recommendation ITU-T G.9701 “Fast Access to Subscriber Terminals - Physical layer specification” have reached the point of stability required to initiate the standard’s approval procedure.
This means chip manufacturers can now scale-up G.fast chip design and testing efforts, feeding results of this work into ITU-T Study Group 15 in the interests of finalizing G.fast as early as April 2014.
The G.fast project has attracted active participation from a large number of leading service providers, chip manufacturers, and system vendors. Companies involved in its development have already confirmed the standard’s gigabit-per-second capability through lab and field trials using prototype equipment based on mature drafts of the standard.