Members of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) have given their final approval to the broadband technology G.fast. Having the standard in place ensures the technology can now be made commercially available and used to complement fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) scenarios.
G.fast is deployed as part of the fibre-to-the distribution-point (FTTdp), and it combines aspects of fibre and DSL offering fibre-like speeds over customer-installed DSL. This could potentially mean significant cost savings for telcos, as well as improved customer experience.
“The time from G.fast’s approval to its implementation looks set to be the fastest of any access technology in recent memory,” Hamadoun Touré, ITU’s Secretary-General said. “A range of vendors has begun shipping G.fast silicon and equipment, and service providers’ lab and field trials are well underway.”
The technology is said to aid the installation of bandwidth-intensive services such as ultra-HD 4K or 8K streaming and IPTV, advanced cloud-based storage and HD video communication. According to the ITU, G.fast’s ‘zero touch’ operations, administration and management will make it very attractive to service providers.
The development of G.fast has been conducted hand-in-hand with the Bradband Forum’s FTTdp system architecture project, which aims to ensure quick rollout of the technology into FTTdp implementations.
“The Broadband Forum is working closely with the ITU to ensure compliance with the G.fast standard and certify chipsets and equipment,” Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum said. “We have already set our first plugfest for January 2015.”
There has been a lot of talk and testing around G.fast lately, and it will be interesting to see how quickly and in what numbers it will be picked up within the industry. With the growing need for faster speeds and increasing appetites for streaming and other bandwidth-greedy services, it could become a hit.