G.fast – So Near, So Far
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 10/13/2016
There's been a buzz around G.fast for a couple of years now, driven largely by the requirements of a small number of network operators (particularly BT in the UK) but also by the responsiveness of the chipset and ultra-broadband system vendor community.
The technology was one of the big talking points at last year's Broadband World Forum event in London, as operators from around the world stoked the G.fast fire. (See Long-Range, High-Speed Gfast Is Coming – BT, NBN Looks to G.Fast to Reduce Fiber 'Hassle' and G.fast Banter at BBWF.)
And there's little doubt it'll be a key topic at that same industry gathering in London, particularly following BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA)'s recent news of its expanded rollout and first commercial G.fast technology contract awards. (See Huawei, Nokia Land Initial G.fast Deals at BT's Openreach.)
But not everything is rosy in the G.fast garden.
on October 18-20 in London.
As my colleague Iain Morris points out in his in-depth update on the market dynamics impacting this strand of the fixed broadband access market, there are number of factors -- political pressure, competition and technology advances, to name a few -- that could hamper the G.fast market's broader development. (See G.fast Could Use a Boost.)
The G.fast market isn't going to go away -- there are a number of different deployment scenarios already in play, with the wider market waiting for feedback on how those perform operationally and, of course, from a business model perspective. (See CenturyLink Plants G.fast Flag With Calix, AT&T Explores G.fast for MDUs and Telekom Austria Deploys G.fast, Vplus With Alcatel-Lucent.)
But it might not get much further than being a technological and economic niche if some of the hurdles prove too high to overcome. It'll be interesting to see how many more (if any!) network operators come into the open at the Broadband World Forum show with next-generation ultra-broadband service plans that include G.fast (whether from the cabinet, distribution points or basements).
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading
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