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Author Topic: Dr John Cioffi on the Viability of 1 Terabit DSL Copper Line Broadband  (Read 329 times)


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Broadband ISP speeds of 1 Terabit per second (1000000Mbps) down a traditional copper line? It may sound impossible but that’s what Dr John Cioffi, best known as the “father” of DSL, proposed last year with Terabit DSL technology. In our latest interview we ask John about TDSL’s viability.

At present the vast majority of consumers in the UK connect their broadband ISP services via a form of Digital Subscriber Line technology (e.g. ADSL, VDSL [FTTC] etc.), which sends electrical signals down a tiny bit of twisted pair copper wire in order to deliver an internet connection into your home.

Two of the key people involved with the development of DSL were Joseph Lechleider and Stanford Professor Dr John Cioffi. The latter is a seasoned electrical engineer that has published over 600 papers and holds over 100 patents (many related to ADSL, VDSL, Vectored VDSL,, DSM, LTE, Massive-MIMO and Wi-Fi). On top of that he’s also the CEO and Chairman of California-based ASSIA.

Suffice to say that if it were anybody else proposing Terabit DSL then we might struggle to take it seriously but that’s definitely not the case with John.

What is TDSL?

At present modern Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) style broadband technologies like can harness 106MHz of spectrum (rising up to 212MHz in the future) and tend to deliver their best speeds at under a few hundred metres from your local street cabinet, with electrical signals travelling inside the copper wire.

Future enhancements like XG.Fast / G.mgfast may even be able to use up to around 848MHz of spectrum but these will suffer even more from signal degradation over distance, meaning you’ll need a very short line in order to get the best performance and some doubt that today’s increasingly “full fibre” (FTTP/H) focused operators will ever adopt it.

By comparison TDSL proposes the radically different approach of using the existing copper wire as a “guide” (waveguide) to help direct a wireless broadband signal in the 100GHz+ millimeter Wave (mmW) band, which could carry huge amounts of data.
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