ITU puts G.fast on track for 2014 approval

The ITU has offered multiple rays of hope for telcos that want to get into the IPTV space but are unwilling or unable to build out fiber infrastructure to deliver the necessary broadband speeds.

ITU Frank van der Putten g.fast

Click here for a video interview on G.fast with ITU Experts Group rapporteur Frank van der Putten.

After a meeting of its ITU-T Study Group 15 in Geneva, ITU said it is "one step closer" to final approval of G.fast, a standard that delivers superfast downloads of up to 1 Gbps up to a distance of 250 meters. The Geneva meeting served up a first stage approval of the ITU-T G.9700 standard that specifies ways to obviate interference between G.fast equipment and broadcast services such as FM radio. The standards body is now on track for probable G.fast standard approval by early 2014.

The standard is backed by multiple service providers, chip manufacturers and system vendors, ITU said, because its top speeds would enable service providers to deliver upcoming bandwidth-rich services such as ultra high definition TV and multiple broadband service levels without investing in fiber to the home (FTTH). It would, in all likelihood, make IPTV service a reality for a number of smaller telcos with limited financial and network resources.

"G.fast is an important standard for service providers globally (who) will be able to deliver fiber-like performance more quickly and more affordably than with any other approach," said Tom Starr, chairman of ITU-T Study Group 15, Working Party 1, which oversees the G.fast effort.

Besides the attraction of higher broadband speeds, G.fast is configured to enable consumer self-installation without technical assistance, erasing an often expensive installation process from the service provider's books and improving the customer experience, the ITU said.

The standard is being coordinated with the Broadband Forum's system architecture project Fiber to the Distribution Point (FTTdp), the ITU added.

"G.fast promises the speed of fiber with the ease of installation of ADSL2," said Les Brown, associate rapporteur of the G.fast Experts Group.

For more:
- ITU issued this press release

Related articles:
Alcatel-Lucent, Telekom Austria wring 1 Gbps from existing copper
G.fast gets ITU first stage approval

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