News out of the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam this week is that the University of New Hampshire InterOperablity Laboratory (UNH-IOL) has been chosen to serve as the first and only testing lab for the Broadband Forum's G.fast certification program. That program, along with plans for a G.fast chipset interoperability plugfest slated for January, was unveiled today as well. The testing lab is designed to assure service providers that customer premises and demarcation point equipment will work together.
G.fast refers to the emerging ITU standards for digital subscriber line technology that would support up to 100Gbps speeds for local copper loops shorter than 820 feet, giving service providers a potentially cheaper alternative to fiber for connecting into businesses and homes that are consuming and creating ever more bandwidth-greedy content. G.fast, which could be ratified as a standard by year-end, would blow by VDSL2 technology, which handles speeds of up to a few hundred Mbps, albeit on longer loops than G.fast will support.
(More common DSL technology offers much lower speeds and the head of the FCC recently said he will push for more broadband competition in the United States. The U.S. National Broadband Plan speed goals are quite modest when compared to what G.fast could deliver.)
The independent UNH-IOL already is a center for testing on other advances technologies such as Gigabit Ethernet, SDN and WiFi.