The zombie that is our aging copper network just got another jolt of magic to keep it animated. Setting a new record, the Franco-American vendor has put 10Gbps over copper wires with a new prototype technology, giving hope of actual gigabit services to those who fiber won't reach.
The new technology is called XG-FAST, and builds on the G.fast standard that itself is still being finalized. With up to a 500Mhz frequency range, testing yielded higher speeds but over shorter distances: 1Gbps symmetrical over 70m, and 10Gbps over just 30m with two pairs of lines.
That's not a lot of meters, but like vectoring and G.fast it may add yet another tool to the toolbox for operators taking the incremental fiber-to-the-curb approach to an eventual all-fiber infrastructure. Copper can never match fiber, but technologies like this hope to bridge the gap until the economics of fiber deployment make it feasible to finish off that last mile for everyone.