Cable is catching fiber: 10 Gbps in both directions demoed by Bell Labs

By Scorpus · 17 replies
May 18, 2016
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  1. We all know that fiber is the best technology right now for fast internet connections, but sometimes it's too expensive or time consuming to deploy. This is why any technology that harnesses and improves existing deployments of hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) cable is so enticing for internet providers.

    Nokia's Bell Labs has demonstrated new coaxial cable technology called XG-CABLE that significantly improves throughput over existing HFC cables. In point-to-point tests using 1.2 GHz of spectrum, Bell Labs achieved 10 Gbps in both upstream and downstream throughput. In point-to-multipoint they achieved around 8 Gbps down and 7.5 Gbps up.

    There are some catches to Nokia's new technology, though. Achieving multi-gigabit speeds through HFC is only feasible over short distances, so high-speed networks would still need fiber at street level to provide an extensive backbone. Nokia says XG-CABLE is suited to providing fast throughput over the last 200 meters of a home's internet connection, although prototypes only achieved 10 Gbps over 100 meters.

    While these length limitations sound pretty restrictive, the good news is that the most expensive part of any high-speed internet deployment is usually the last few hundred meters of cable that directly connects a home to street level networks. In an area with HFC, Nokia's new tech would allow internet providers to improve speeds without replacing curb-to-home cables with fiber.

    XG-CABLE is designed to easily integrate with CableLabs Full Duplex DOSCIS 3.1 concept specification, with echo cancellation employed to reduce issues with full duplex signals. It still might be some time before new cable specs and XG-CABLE tech are ready, but it will keep HFC alive for just a little bit longer.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 861   +875

    And cable companies will install it 30 years from now, and charge you $900 a month for the connection.

    Oh, and of course, a 250GB cap.
    lripplinger, p51d007 and mojorisin23 like this.
  3. Mandark

    Mandark TS Booster Posts: 76   +22

    I don't think that will happen dude. Why would they not do this in a timely fashion and make more money from subscriptions though?
  4. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,266   +436

    Everyone that I know complaining about caps are comcast users.

    Those low caps don't apply to all cable operators I'm on a 100/10 cable connection that is unlimited.

    And I'm glad that cable is catching up with Fiber when it comes to throughput but what about latency which is just as important.
  5. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 861   +875

    Because there is no reason to? Why offer MORE speed then you absolutely have to in order to make money? People have shown they will pay $70 a month for 50Mbps, why would you offer more then that unless you have competition?

    Cable companies have a unofficial monopoly on their markets. Short of a competitor like google coming in, they will not offer more then they absolutely have to, and people will buy it because they have no other options.They have proven they will do this time and time again. Case and point, the speeds that TWC offers in a city will magically start shooting up once google fiber comes to town. They could have offered the speed, but they wont because there is no reason to do it until google came along.
    Not on comcast here, but the ISP doesnt matter. Caps are BS on hardwire connections, period. And considering comcast is a major cable operator in the US, it is a legitimate complaint. cox also has caps, and charter could easily put them in once the 7 year agreement with the FCC is up (or before, since the FCC has no teeth to enforce these contracts as ATT and verizon have shown). If they did, that would mean more tha 90% of cable customers in the US would have a cap. Just because YOU dont have a cap, doesnt mean this is a big problem for end users.
    Mandark and Reehahs like this.
  6. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Posts: 463   +136

    Working for a CP/ISP this is really interesting. BT own pretty much the whole network in the UK through Openreach and most other companies use that and resell it in their own packages, the only exceptions I can think of where they implement their own technologu is Virgin, offering up to 200Mb/s (asymmetric) and unlimited data for ~£70 a month. (Not sure how much exactly as my house has a number of add ons).

    The USA's network always confuses me in this as it seems so unregulated, and there seems to be very little interest in regulating it either.
    Mandark and Reehahs like this.
  7. Although the improvements that this tech can have, sounds appealing - it will NEVER happen. Cable companies doing something for the benefit of the consumer??...yeah right!

    As I was reading the article I was just chuckling especially in light of my most recent correspondence with a local cable company.
  8. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    No competition here in Canada will ever drive the Cable companies to upgrade their services, it's particularly bad in Quebec where Videotron owns all the cable lines and Bell owns all the phone lines, all service goes through one or the other regardless of ISP. Some resellers offer unrestricted services but they come at a premium or a sacrifice to raw speed, one thing that frustrates me like crazy, you can have a 100mb/s connection but only 300GB a month, or you can have unlimited with a 10mb/s connection... It's pure insanity, to think they will retroactively upgrade their infrastructure to anything faster than what we currently have will take decades and more money than either company is willing to dish out. And don't think the government will ever step in to make them do this, it's not like they use anything faster than dial up in most of their offices it seems.
  9. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,266   +436

    I don't believe there should be caps just pointing out that issue isn't world wide. And its more of a problem for US residents I don't live in the United states. This story is about connection speeds but someone always come in complaining about their capped connection which is just taking this off topic. The complains are valid but this isn't a story about capped connections.

    In Ontario we already have Gigabit over docsis currently available and plans for uncapped connections. We do suffer from the same monopoly setup in the US but our options are better in Canada.
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  10. The Internet has become almost as vital as running water.
    This monopoly has to stop.
    Google, put your money where your mouth is and roll out Fibre in a timely manner. The ISP's won't move their asses otherwise.
  11. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,266   +436

    With all the regulation and the other providers fighting them every step of the way you will be waiting probably a long time for google to show up if they even do.
  12. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    You personally have this service? What's the name of the ISP, I've been thinking of moving to Ontario, tried Ottawa and the service was no better than what I have here in Quebec. Is it only available in certain areas that have the infrastructure implemented or is it ISP dependent. Last question, what kind of latency does it provide, I'm sure it's not quite as fast as fiber, but it must be faster than standard cable.
  13. ChuckyDhaBeast

    ChuckyDhaBeast TS Enthusiast Posts: 42   +25

    I don't get how they are able to achieve that over a cable like coax at 200m, yet ethernet over cat6e is rated at 100m, almost nothing on cat5e, and that is pro equipement we are talking about. Home equipement are still limited to 1Gb interface.
  14. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,266   +436

    I'm with rogers in ontario.

    However I'm not on the gigabit tier just 100/10 and yes since is a new roll out its only available in certain area's for now.

    Considering the gigabit tier is just on a 32x8 channel docsis 3.0 hitron modem there isn't much improvement in latency you will have to wait until the canadian isp's starting rolling out docsis 3.1 equipment for that.
    Last edited: May 18, 2016
    Adhmuz likes this.
  15. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,374   +69

    I'll believe the speed when I see it. I just upgraded my att uverse internet to 12 meg from 3 meg and att actually had to come and give a new twisted pair of wires to the line in the apartment. Lucky they have 50 wires running thru the walls from jack to jack. Really speedy; called att friday morning at 8:30 am and they came the same day at 11 am. The builder must have anticipated electronics in 1980 when he built this building because we have lots of electric outlets. Power line is still 128 volts, not 120 volts, but I'm working on that. Like a 3 month power outage.
  16. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 574   +72

    100/10 sounds like a virgin media line with such low uploads. I am also uncapped 50/75 (yes upload is faster than download)
  17. Tribalcheetah

    Tribalcheetah TS Rookie

    The US system is actually pretty regulated, but it is a huge mess due to the bigger companies lobbying to manipulate laws in their favor, so its too expensive for small startups to compete. Companies have to "bid" to sell in certain areas. Often they get to be the only one, which is why many people complain about the price per performance, because unless you are willing to move out to get more internet options, you are stuck with whoever won the bidding war in your city/town/area.

    What people forget is that even if one is a pro streamer running a server and uploading, one does not need anything over 5mbps. The issue that requires such high speeds is poor management of the data streams on the US old internet system, which causes massive lag and poor speeds when all the folks in the neighborhod start loggin on.
  18. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Posts: 463   +136

    But you need a steady 3mb/s to stream SD, 5 for HD and a huge 25mb/s for UHD so it can become a pretty big issue for the casual streamer, cord cutters even just running multiple devices can easily consume well over 5mb/s

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