back to article Swisscom claims world's first G.fast broadband service

Swisscom reckons it's become the first carrier in the world to announce a G.fast service. The telco hasn't said how long the rollout will take, nor how many households are within its preferred maximum copper run of 200 metres, but its CTO Heinz Herren told an audience at Broadband World Forum (BWF) the build has commenced. …

Lee D
Silver badge

I don't see 500Mbps at 200m as much of an achievement nowadays. You can do 10Gb at 100m with off-the-shelf networking hardware, and 1Gb at that same distance is ludicrously cheap (you can get a 5-port switch off Amazon that can do that for about £20).

Sure, the copper is different quality. It's a slightly longer length. But you're telling me it's THAT MUCH HARDER that it's taken 20-25 years to catch up?

I'd be infinitely more impressed at, say, 10Mbps at some enormous length. Kilometres. But that's actually DIFFICULT, rather than arguing over which protocols to use and then buying whatever vendor's kit that took you out for lunch.

The problem with modern Internet is not the top-speed. We have that sorted. If it comes to it, we can easily do gigabits to local cabinets over these sorts of distances, it's just not an issue. The problem we have is that outside that distance we have almost nothing. Other countries fibre in their properties, so distance isn't even an issue (sure, it costs, but once it's in you're done for the next 50 years).

Sorry, this just isn't impressive at all. And it doesn't really help anyone but the ISPs who might be able to get more money out of you by whacking up your speed against your will and charging you extra for it.

And I live inside the M25, and have decent FTTC Internet. I just don't see speeds 200m from boxes as a problem worth solving at the moment when you still have people only a matter of km from a major town who get bugger all.

Commswonk
Silver badge

Other countries fibre in their properties, so distance isn't even an issue (sure, it costs, but once it's in you're done for the next 50 years).

The first part of that is what might be described as a non sequitur and the bit in brackets, while true on a technical level, overlooks that fact that some sort of RoI will be wanted after (say) 5 years, not 50.

fibrefool

4 pairs of Cat 6

it's not just that the copper is better - you also get 4 pairs to play with if you're doing 1000Base-T.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

"Sure, the copper is different quality. It's a slightly longer length. But you're telling me it's THAT MUCH HARDER that it's taken 20-25 years to catch up?"

Have you heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect?

If problems considered tricky by experts in the field seem trivial to solve, you've failed to understand the problem.

Lee D
Silver badge

If other countries that are more rural, less dense, and yet can get higher speeds on ordinary lines for the same prices? Sorry, but we're doing something wrong somewhere.

And I'd point the finger at deployments like this, and the complete lack of take up of the broadband subsidies, and the lax legislation forcing companies like BT to service those kinds of customers.

Nowhere do I imply that there's some magic that we haven't yet discovered as a civilisation that we should just "go out and research". It's been done. Many times. But we're not doing it.

And yet we're still talking about broadband connectivity over only 90% of the country, a tiny little country, where much larger nations have done much more in much less time.

Hell, it's STILL going to be another couple of years because I can use my foreign-owned carrier mobile phone, in their home country, without them charging me for data roaming when all they do is shove the local Internet connection on each tower down an already-existing leased line with the traffic tagged with the lowest QoS available to them.

The problem is not technical. The problem is complete lack of interest in breaking up BT / Openreach and forcing it to do what it should be doing - providing back-end services to everyone and averaging out the cost across the country so that some bloke in Scotland pays no more for his first connection than some bloke in London (who's secretly subsidising the bloke in Scotland).

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Which countries are you talking about? There are very few countries with higher availability than the UK.There are countries with higher average speeds, but that's achieved, in part, by not servicing rural areas. If you don't believe me, Akamai's state of the internet report is a reasonable place to start.

Commswonk
Silver badge

The problem is complete lack of interest in breaking up BT / Openreach and forcing it to do what it should be doing

OK; let's assume that Openreach is separated from BT; if both parts are / remain shareholder - owned companies then the concept of forcing either or both to do anything simply will not and cannot arise.

By extension your argument would lead to my being forced to pay for a much faster speed than I either want or need following widespread FTTP roll - out so that I can subsidise those who think they need it.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

The USO you describe is difficult in Britain. Rule of thumb - last 10% of a network rollout or any kind costs the same as the first 90 - hence the places without sewers, gas etc..

So, a USO, widely taken up, would double the line rental part of broadband cost nationally. I think that's about £15 a month Wholesale, so call it £30.

That might be bearable, but in most cities and towns people have the choice of Virgin. Unless Virgin also contribute to the USO, all the city folk just change supplier and there's no subsidy available for the country folk who end up having to pay £150 a month.

The root cause is that the cost of deploying rural consumer Internet services is greater than people are willing to pay for it. Each subsidy approach has unintended consequences. If you think it's simple you've not understood the problem.

ratfox
Silver badge

What is G.fast?

I was hoping the article would define the term, but...

Not that it concerns me. Swisscom already has fiber to my place.

Jon Massey

Re: What is G.fast?

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=G.FAST&l=1

ratfox
Silver badge
Windows

Re: What is G.fast?

Yeah sure, it's just I like articles to be somewhat self-contained.

Warm Braw
Silver badge

What a pity

If only the Canned Statement had come from Heinz ...

Kev99
Bronze badge

Nothing is new

Back in the mid-60s Bell Labs successfully tested a POTS modem that could handle a sustained 600Mbps and easily hit 800Mbps. The down side was it needed repeaters every fifty miles.

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