Copper wire is sexy again.
Or at least that’s one way to describe the resurgence of interest in using copper wire for broadband.
The readily available wiring that’s been in use for 160 years has gotten new life recently with technological advances from Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) and others. Whereas once copper was written off as unable to provide the bandwidth needed for modern Internet access, innovations that reduce crosstalk have allowed made it viable again.
At the Broadband World Forum 2013 held in Amsterdam, copper was all the rage.
“The majority of the buzz at the show this year was about copper,” noted Dr. Stefaan Vanhastel, marketing director for Alcatel-Lucent’s fixed networks business in a blog post recently, entitled, Amsterdam: where the streets are paved with copper. “The interest in the latest copper technologies was extremely high.”
In particular, vectoring innovations have made copper wires able to compete again in the broadband space. Alcatel-Lucent’s VDSL2 innovations have meant that crosstalk can be reduced algorithmically, which boosts the speed with which copper can transfer data because there is less noise on the lines.
Alcatel-Lucent also recently unveiled its new VDSL2 Vectoring micro-nodes solution, which delivers ultra-broadband services from any location using copper wires thanks to VDSL2 technology with a blend of other broadband solutions.
Micro-nodes are small, fixed-access node systems that use VDSL2 Vectoring to deliver ultra-broadband services to small numbers of end users, according to the company. Silent and discreet, micro-nodes can be easily deployed in any location that is conveniently close to users and cost-effective for service providers.
“Service providers certainly have to prioritize their investments, and if they can meet customer demand for ultra-broadband using existing infrastructure, that makes a lot of sense,” noted Dr. Vanhastel.
“Over the last year we’ve see the lines blur considerably between copper and fiber,” he added. “It used to be that our customers were firmly in either a fiber-to-the-home or a VDSL mindset. Now our fiber customers are looking at copper again, and our copper customers are looking at bringing fiber closer to their subscribers – all with one objective in mind: to connect more people, more quickly.”
The notices for copper being dead certainly appear to be premature as VDSL2 is a growing part of the ultra-broadband solutions mix. .
Edited by Peter Bernstein