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Bell Labs channels 10Gbit/s over copper wires

Posted: 14 Jul 2014  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bell labs  fibre  broadband  copper  XG-FAST 

Bell Labs recently hit the headlines for stealing a 10Gbit/s world-record speed over existing copper wires—setting the benchmark for ultra-broadband applications and solving the fibre-to-residence problem. This was two months after it celebrated a return to its original R&D business model (see Bell Labs reverts to 'game-changing research' model).

Fibre cables for high-speed Internet services are being laid all throughout the country and world, but at a relatively slow rate due to the "curb-to-residence" problem. Many home owners are reluctant to let their lawns be dug up to lay fibre from the curb to the house, and many Internet providers are reluctant to incur the cost. Now Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs has invented a solution—a method of running 1Gbit/s to 10Gbit/s broadband signals from the curb to the residence using the existing copper telephone lines already there.

"Cost and time-to-market are the two of the biggest factors in bringing fibre to the home," Keith Russell, senior marketing manager for Alcatel-Lucent's Fixed Networks, told EE Times. "If you can imagine being an operator that is deploying and all fibre network they have to put new infrastructure into every unit. And as you put fibre into neighbourhoods there's a high cost to that, but when you get to the curb and try to get across their property—maybe digging up the lawn or going under the driveway—there is a lot of cost to that too. Even avoiding that last little bit by using copper deployment can save an operator a lot of time and money."

The Bell Labs inventors of XG-Fast discuss how they were inspired by Bell Labs' most famous member, Claude Shannon.


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