Welsh University packs more data down fibre optic networks

March 9, 2016

Is a revolution in home entertainment and broadband on the horizon?

Reading a number of the headlines at www.newswales.co.uk and icwales.co.uk people may well be getting excited.

Hundred times more rapid broadband and 75% cheaper appears alluring but some cautious reading reveals that the existing infrastructure referred to in the articles is based upon fibre-optic networks. Fibre-optic cable is at the nucleus of broadband given that it links the telephone exchanges and cable cabinets to places where the data we all download or upload is stored, but this study does nothing to advance that final few hundred feet or kilometres of metallic cable that both cable broadband and ADSL/ADSL2+ based services utilise.

A 1Gbps connection would download a 4GB film in approximately 32 seconds, so one can calculate approximately that they are referring to speeds around the 10Gbps mark. The key item we believe this research is doing is reducing the price of the hardware that would be required to sit on either end of the fibre optic cable. The large overheads of physically getting a fibre optic cable into the homes over the UK are still to see either someone prepared to fund it with a view to a enduring (30 year) advantage or a technology alteration that makes it significantly cheaper to install.


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