ADTRAN Bets on Gigabit to the Home

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By: Michael Vizard

ADTRAN has launched a comprehensive effort to make gigabit-speed networking pervasive using existing wiring infrastructure or fiber-optic networks.

The company this week announced the ADTRAN SDX 621X, a residential optical network terminal (ONT) that extends the company’s family of passive optical networking (PON) technologies out to the home.

The goal is to make it less costly for carriers to deliver 10G networking services using the same fiber optic networks they currently use to deliver premium services to, for example, an office park, says Kurt Raaflaub, senior manager for strategic solutions marketing at ADTRAN.

“Carriers will be able to deliver all services on a common infrastructure,” says Raaflaub.

At the same time, ADTRAN is moving to deliver gigabit speeds over existing wiring using digital subscriber lines (DSL) that support the next iteration of G.fast protocol capable of providing as much as 2 Gbps of aggregated bandwidth. While previous implementations of the G.fast protocol met with mixed success, the latest version of the standard doubles the usable spectrum of a DSL line from 106 Mhz to 212 Mhz using software-defined access points from ADTRAN. 

ADTRAN expects carriers will employ a mix of next generation networking technologies to deliver 4G/5G networking experiences that require at least a gigabit of symmetrical networking capabilities, says Raaflaub.

In fact, Raaflaub notes that the economic health of any community now directly correlates to the amount of bandwidth made available. Businesses of all sizes are now basing decisions on where to locate their operations as much on the amount of network bandwidth available to drive, for example, a 3D printing application as much as they are the cost of electrical power.

Those requirements are, in turn, putting a lot of pressure on carriers to find multiple ways to not only making gigabit networks available to businesses, but also in the homes of the employees those businesses would like to recruit. The availability of skilled workers in any community now also correlates to the amount network bandwidth made available in their homes. 

It may take a while longer before economists fully appreciate network bandwidth as a leading economic indicator. But among municipalities that are thriving the one thing they almost always have in common is access to lots of network bandwidth.