Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, has come out and said that it reckons nearly every home in the UK could hypothetically have 50MBit/s broadband in the future using copper wire, negating the need to put a fibre-optic line into every single home.
This sounds great – the only caveat is though that it sounds like it needs a hell of a lot of work to become a reality. Apparently it based this assertion on an “idealised situation” where all of the right kit is in place and everything works as planned. So it’s a bit like saying that in the future we’ll all be wearing silver and driving flying cars – probable, but requiring massive technological changes in every part of the industry.
I guess the one thing Ofcom does have that my ridiculous analogy doesn’t is a technology with which to achieve the goal. At the moment 18% of homes are within 2km of an exchange and are theoretically capable of achieving 50MBit broadband (because being nearer means the signal is less degraded, so there will be less packet loss, therefore faster internet), but Ofcom think it has found a way to speed up the other 82% of homes that are further away. It reckons that by moving the upstream modems found in exchanges to the individual street cabinets, found on most roads, then faster speeds can be achieved.
This sounds pretty difficult, or at least expensive, to me as there are many more street cabinets than there are exchanges, so I guess we’ll have to keep dreaming for a few more years. At least they’re thinking about it now.
(via Tech Radar)