Broadband News

Welsh University crams more data down fibre optic networks

Is a revolution in home entertainment and broadband just around the corner? Reading some of the headlines at and people could be getting excited.

Hundred times faster broadband and 75% cheaper sounds enticing but some careful reading reveals that the existing infrastructure mentioned in the articles is referring to fibre-optic networks. Fibre-optic cable is at the core of broadband since it links the telephone exchanges and cable cabinets to places where the data we all download or upload is stored, but this research does nothing to improve that final few hundred feet or kilometres of metallic cable that both cable broadband and ADSL/ADSL2+ based services use.

A 1Gbps connection would download a 4GB film in around 32 seconds, so one can estimate that they are talking of speeds around the 10Gbps mark. The main thing we suspect this research is doing is reducing the cost of the hardware that would need to sit on either end of the fibre optic cable. The big costs of physically getting a fibre optic cable into the homes around the UK are still to see either someone willing to fund it with a view to a long term (30 year) benefit or a technology change that makes it considerably cheaper to install.


it does rather assume you have the fibre connection to start with, something we're still waiting to see with a credible business case.

  • herdwick
  • over 12 years ago

It does seem some cant comprehend speeds like this one day will be reality and its not all just about profit. As is evident by the recent further exchange roll out by bethere. Within 5 years (10 at tops) i firmly believe a legitimate fibre service will be available to several in this country. Personally i think like LLU services it will only be available to a certain percentage of the country, i do also believe someone will beat BT and Virgin to the punch for a true fibre service. It certainly is not wild assumption its going to happen its just a question of when and who.

  • over 12 years ago

So it will look like a DVD player. That explains it.

Key to FTTH is standards so that people have options on suppliers and not be locked into eg VM.

  • Somerset
  • over 12 years ago

Speaking as a resident in a prosperous part of a prosperous London borough, I'm still waiting for coax as an alternative to the BT overhead line...It is scarcely cost effective to deliver 155M ccts to mobile base stations, and that is a profitable sector, so quite how FTTH is going to be be paid for isn't entirely obvious. Unless certain News Corp is planning to by a few telcos AND broadcasters!!

  • kmendum
  • over 12 years ago

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