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Wire Speed

Wire Speed Feature

October 29, 2010

Wire Speed: What Can Copper Do For You?

By Erin Monda, TMCnet Contributor

Companies are commonly developing ways to increase wire speed data capacity through existing fiber infrastructures.

Evolution has been somewhat stagnant due to financial constraints – after all, telcos are in the business of making money. And that has delayed the improvement of fiber capacity and quality to residential customers.

But several factors are now being considered by the companies providing wire speed class services – and it is time that improvements came to the table.

Isolating Sounds

DSL lines utilizing copper wire suffer from a phenomenon called crosstalk; signal noise can drift from one wire to another. It degrades a signal that is already under stress from the distance to the original source. Complicated filters are used to reduce/correct noise between the wires currently, that’s not going to change. Improvements to the technology may help, though.

Adding Additional Wires

If a building has many lines going into it they can be joined to increase wire speed signal throughput. AT&T (News - Alert) has already taken this idea and ran with it with its U-verse DSL option – although that strategy is going to tap out before reaching the wire speeds competitors are offering.

Presently, the fastest wire speed testing speeds are from Huawei (News - Alert) in Hong Kong. They claim 700 Mbps overall capacity with 4 “pairs” (lines).


There is always frequency to consider. Voice traffic travels along on the very same copper as DSL services – it is just on another frequency. And there isn’t necessarily more room to push additional data within the existing infrastructure. To expand upon what’s already there, improvements in hardware need to be made on the telco’s end of things – and perhaps even on the consumer end.

It’s difficult to tell at this time, however, whether telcos will be willing to let cable speeds and their own speeds get larger…

Only time and money will tell!

Erin Monda recently graduated from W.C.S.U. with a degree in professional writing. She primarily writes about network technologies, including cloud computing, virtualization and network optimization, however she also has a focus on E911 technologies and legislation.

Edited by Erin Monda