ITU Blog: Is Copper the Future of Fibre? and the battle of bandwidth

Attendees at the recent Fixed Access Networks Summit in Berlin contributed to a lively conference. In focus was the upcoming and innovative ITU-T standard and its potential, in unison with vectoring techniques, to inject new life into existing telephone wire infrastructure in the predominantly copper ‘last mile’ (between the exchange, where fibre ‘drops’, and the customer premises).

Vectoring is a means to eliminate interference, known as ‘cross-talk’, between multiple wire pairs in a single copper cable (not dissimilar to the noise-cancellation technology used in headphones). It was standardized in 2010 as ITU-T G.993.5 and the impressive results seen with its deployment in the field sparked huge upward revisions in analysts’ forecasts of the life left in copper.

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