ADSL2+ flying the flag for faster ADSL
BBC News Online has run a news item highlighting some of the details for the ADSL2+ standard. ADSL2+ was ratified by the International Telecommunications Union in January 2003 and should be compatible with ADSL in the local loop, and even some ADSL modems currently on the market are compatible with it.
ADSL2+ should bring much faster connection speeds to the market, by allowing 20Mbps out to around 1.5km of cable length, and generally higher speeds even further out compared to standard ADSL. With the current extended reach trials BT is running that are testing 0.5Mbps ADSL between 7km and 10km, ADSL2+ offers the hope of even further reach. How far, is hard to tell, various articles talk of 200m to 500m further reach, but a key part of the ADSL2+ standard is the flexibility it offers to cope with difficult loops. For some further reading on the standard click here.
For those chasing ever high speeds, ADSL2+ is designed to be bonded, an example would be if you are too far for a 6Mbps service, you could run 2x3Mbps lines and bond them. The bonding with ADSL2+ bonding is actually transparent at the TCP/IP level, and therefore much easier to use than the bonding that some ISPs are deploying on ADSL in the UK currently.
Of course the staff of research labs around the world can develop ever faster broadband solutions, the big question is when will the big players deploy something like ADSL2+. There is no current public timetable that has been released by BT, and it is not clear whether ADSL2+ is part of BTs great 21st Century Network plan. Of course we may see a LLU player make use of this technology to wipe the floor with existing services.