The Broadband Forum, a global association of broadband service providers and technology vendors, has announced support for the new ITU-T ultra broadband access standard, G.fast, as a new way to deliver bandwidth intensive consumer applications such as 4K Ultra High Definition TV (4K UHD) and cloud-based consumer applications.
“Consumers should have confidence that the leading broadband service providers globally are working hard to deliver 1Gbps, ultra broadband access,” said Robin Mersh, CEO of The Broadband Forum. “The new G.fast standard makes it possible for telcos to deploy 4K UHD services faster and more affordably than they could with Fiber to the Home (FTTH).”
G.fast uses a novel mix of technology and architecture, which dramatically increases the performance of digital transmission over telephone wires. The new ITU-T standard (G.9701), approved last week, enables up to 1Gbps by using next-generation, high bandwidth communications technologies and by placing them closer to the home into the distribution point (where phone lines get bundled near the residence) often within 300m from the customer premises.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the trade association representing the consumer technology industry, also applauded the new ITU-T standard.
“The hot new product this holiday season and beyond is 4K UHD TV,” said Gary Shapiro, CEA president and CEO. “But consumers need confidence that 4K UHD TV online content distribution services, which are often limited by bandwidth rates, are feasible. G.fast offers a promising way to overcome this challenge.”
The Broadband Forum has many programmes designed to speed up the release of G.fast-based services including an enhanced architecture called Fiber to the distribution point (FTTdp), a series of G.fast plugfests starting in January to ensure chip interoperability, a G.fast Certification Program launching in 2015 and a series of standards to define management of G.fast related equipment.
“Besides supporting high-end services such as multi-stream 4K UHD TV, in urban areas already with good penetration of fixed copper telephone lines, G.fast has the added benefit of bringing self-installed broadband access to existing homes cheaper and with less disruption than bringing fibre into the home,” said Malcolm Johnson, director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.
Already, multiple G.fast chipsets have been announced, equipment has been publicly demonstrated, the standard is fully approved and service providers have begun lab and field evaluations of the technology. Further, BBF member companies have been contributing significant work to both the Certification and Plugfest test plan, in an industry wide effort to move the work forward as quickly as possible.
“Accessing new high-bandwidth services using ultra-fast broadband is becoming a reality for many consumers and we will work with the industry and our partners to ensure deployments can happen as quickly as possible,” said Mersh.
This story also appears on IBC’s Content Everywhere.