The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has started its approval process on a new broadband standard that could potentially achieve 1 Gbps speeds (within 250m) on the existing copper access networks (press release). This is particularly good news for developing economies that already have / have started laying FTTC (fiber to the cabinet) / FTTdp (fiber to the distribution point). Market players and regulators should not intend to differ plans of FTTH (fiber to the home) implementations, certainly on new builds; however, it will now be possible for the majority to still enjoy much faster speeds at (hopefully) the same cost. It will also benefit the operators in developed economies who have been battling with the costs associated with fiber deployments to scarcely populated areas.
This piece by Huawei provides some interesting technical detail.
Although promising, this article raises some valid regulatory concerns;
The G.Fast active equipment will use reverse powering from the subscriber’s modem. The thought of providing electricity to an operator may be off putting for some subscribers and may also be an area that regulators look at.
Another issue is that because G.Fast will use higher frequencies this may cause interference with spectrum that is being used for other purposes such as commercial FM radio, which uses the 87.5-105MHz spectrum band, the military and public safety.