Gfast is the latest generation of DSL technology. It builds on ADSL and VDSL to bring Gigabit bandwidth to customer premises.

This new generation of technology is designed to deliver blazing fast broadband over existing copper lines. A strong use case is Fibre to the Distribution Point (FTTdp) which uses Distribution Point Units (DPUs) to push fibre  deeper into the network. Gfast allows operators to extend their fibre closer to the premises, and presents a cost-effective alternative to Fibre to the Home (FTTH) deployments in many locations.

NetComm Wireless and Openreach (a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group) successfully completed a world first FTTdp based Gfast 212MHz profile demonstration that achieved Gigabit speeds using a reverse powered Gfast DPU. The demonstration was the first to reach 1.66 Gbps aggregate broadband speeds using a DPU that was reverse powered over 40 metres of copper lead-in cable, using spectrum frequency of up to 212MHz.

Reverse powered remotely from the premises, the NetComm Wireless DPU optimises time and cost by circumventing power supply installation at the distribution point. It supports the latest International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Gfast specification amendments, and uses leading edge silicon technology that co-exists with VDSL2, so operators can utilise both technologies interchangeably. Gfast DPUs that feature support for VDSL2 allow operators to switch between technologies, and scale their deployments in line with market demand. This is particularly relevant for operators with existing infrastructure in place wishing to upgrade.

Timo Brouwer, Chief Operating Officer, NetComm Wireless said “NetComm Wireless began developing FTTdp DPUs when it became clear that an alternative to fibre to the premises was needed. Openreach is always looking forward, and we are pleased to have demonstrated the latest generation of FTTdp capabilities that will support the broadband demands of the future.”

Peter Bell, Director, Network Solutions & Operations, Openreach said “Our aim is to deliver high-speeds to as many people, as quickly as possible. We’ve outlined plans to provide ultrafast speeds to 12 million premises by the end of 2020 and we want to go further. We’re working with NetComm Wireless to understand how we can deploy this technology closer to the premises to reach even more customers.”

In a recent article, Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum wrote that by enabling operators to deploy ultrafast broadband networks cost-effectively, “ unleashes the full potential of existing copper networks. By deploying the technology, operators can extend the life of their existing network infrastructures economically, while boosting broadband speeds. Giving the speed of FTTH without the need for professional installation, provides a true alternative to fiber all the way based solutions.”

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