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Aussie Claims Copper Broadband now 200x Faster 208

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the alarms-going-off-in-brain dept.
SkiifGeek writes "Winner of Melbourne University's Chancellor's Prize for Excellence, Dr John Papandriopoulos could soon find himself the focus of a number of networking companies and government agencies interested in wringing more performance from existing network infrastructure. Dr John developed a set of algorithms (US and Aussie patents pending) that reduce the impact of cross talk on data streams sharing the same physical copper line, taking less than a year to achieve the breakthrough. It is claimed that the algorithms can produce up to 200x improvement over existing copper broadband performance (quoted as being between one and 25 mbit/sec), with up to 200 mbit/sec apparently being deliverable. If the mathematical theories are within even an order of magnitude of the actual gains achieved, Dr John's work is likely to have widespread implications for future bandwidth availability across the globe."
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Aussie Claims Copper Broadband now 200x Faster

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  • 200x??? Hardly... (Score:2, Informative)

    by funfail (970288) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @08:50AM (#21098351) Homepage
    (Up to 200 mbit/sec) / (Up to 25 mbit/sec) = 8x improvement...
  • by bflynn (992777) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @09:00AM (#21098461)
    Exactly. Without intending offense to Dr. Papandriopoulos, this is really not news, nor does it have widespread implications for future bandwidth availability across the globe. Global bandwidth is more about high speed backbones, which this technology does not even begin to approach. It is only useful in solving the last mile problem of getting things off the backbone to a terminal. And by the time this gets commercialized, I think we can count on at least three other technologies being faster still, with cellular style broadband probably at the top of the list.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @09:01AM (#21098481)
    Had a few beers with him. Here is his homepage [ulos.org].
  • Re:Metaphor please (Score:2, Informative)

    by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @09:13AM (#21098605) Homepage
    Nope.

    I can bet that it is a reuse of the 3G MAC ideas. 3G uses multipath to improve the signal to noise ratio by filtering the signal versus delayed samples.

    Similar thing is possible with crosstalk as long as you handle all wires from the same duct in the same ASIC this usually is not the case. It will simply not work in countries where access to the copper is unbundled. In other places it will require major rewiring in the exchange.

    I would hate to extinguish the hopes of all hopefuls which think that the holy grail has arrived. This type of algorithms provide O(LOG N) improvement and there is major improvement only for the first couple of filter buckets. Once you are past that each bucket adds less and less.

  • Re:Famous scam? (Score:5, Informative)

    by femto (459605) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @09:14AM (#21098625) Homepage
    I know this guy though having attended conferences with him. I know he is not a scam artist. I also think he is brainy enough to do this. He is not a fly by nighter but a serious communications theory researcher with a track record. As I've just emailed to my supervisor, "It's not every day a communications theorist makes the mainstream media". John Papandriopoulos is easy to find on google.
  • by martyb (196687) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @09:21AM (#21098695)

    The slashdot summary and linked articles are rather short on details. A little googling located some details:

    NOTE: I did a quick skim of it and had not seen any empirical evidence of the advance; seems to be entirely theoretical. I don't mean to lessen his accomplishments, but my experience is that reality usually has unforeseen factors. I certainly hope he IS on to something here!!

    (*) I didn't know anyone used the &ltblink> tag any more. :/

  • Re:Metaphor please (Score:5, Informative)

    by ozmanjusri (601766) <(aussie_bob) (at) (hotmail.com)> on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @10:48AM (#21099807) Journal
    Your post is labeled informative, but it is so filled with jargon

    I think the premise that this tech is based on 3G multicast is wrong too.

    Dr Papandriopoulos paper [ulos.org] suggests the algorithm works by iteratively lowering power, and therefore reducing crosstalk. The reduced crosstalk allows faster protocols like VDSL to be used on the copper that was previously only capable of ADSL2.

  • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @10:50AM (#21099843) Homepage
    You underestimate the cost of replacing the last mile technology... there are millions of miles of copper out there and it isn't going anywhere soon. BT's 21cn replacment for example is going to take until 2011 to update their network (if on schedule, and AFAIK it's behind already), cost many hundreds of millions and *still* relies on copper for the last mile (it merely makes ADSL2 deployment easier). And most countries' networks aren't even coming close to that level of investment.

    If this means they'll be able to go to ADSL3 at 200Mb/s then I'm all for it.
  • Re:200x??? Hardly... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @11:18AM (#21100267)
    As someone who recently moved from Ohio (USA) to Rome, Italy, I have to say how disappointed I am about all the misinformation about how great EU internet speeds are.

    I pay almost the same thing here for FastWeb that I paid for RoadRunner in the US. I used to get 800 kilobytes/sec down and 150 kilobytes/sec up.

    Now, I'm stuck behind a giant firewalled NAT without an IP address of my own (although I can rent one for $2/hour!), and get 300 kilobytes/sec down at the best.
  • Re:Never happen... (Score:3, Informative)

    by udippel (562132) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @12:19PM (#21101181)
    A short one: Yes and No. It still stands, the numbers are still correct. That's the theoretical limit if you use the normal phone exchange(s), and the existing, limited, phone bandwidth (300-3400 Hz)

    ADSL, though, uses the spectrum above, and needs extra ports on the last phone exchange to your house, since - contrary to standard modem - these signals don't pass through the plain old telephone system. They are kind of injected at the very end.
  • by DrBuzzo (913503) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @01:15PM (#21101963) Homepage
    Copper isn't really as slow as it is sometimes made out to be. A good copper coax cable, like the one that delivers cable TV can easily push gigabits per second of data without breaking a sweat. Just using standard methods you can get 20gbps. With multichannel rf modulation it's a real lot. If you go to some half-decent microwave connectors you're easily talking terabits per second over a few miles. The only reason cable modem speeds are limited is that A) video takes up most of that bandwidth. Especially the analog channels. Channel 1-50 or so are analog. They eat huge amounts of space. B) you don't get your own coax run to your house, like phone wire is done. You share it with everyone else in your neighborhood.

    But that's because coax is very well shielded and has consistent impedance. Twisted pair cable can do pretty well and give you a good few gigabits per second if it's good, high quality copper and has a decent amount of shielding and good insulated and grounded splices and connectors.

    But the problem is that in practice the phone companies are mostly pushing DSL through little sipindly twisted copper which was put in for basic voice service a long long time ago. It's either not well shielded or not shielded at all. The twists are are not always very good and tight and it often is connected with spade connectors or even just stripped copper onto screw terminals. This ain't double-shielded cat-5e were talking about here. If it were, there wouldn't be nearly the issues of getting high speed data over phone lines at long distances and with good QOS.

    The one thing that gets me is that phone companies continue to put this crap in. At least SBC (Now AT&T) does. It's understandable that their existing copper lines will be a huge task to have all replaced, but when running new services, why even bother with that old crap? How much more does some good network-grade stuff cost? Whatever it does, it still costs a lot less than it will when you eventually have to yank everything out in the near future. Verizon has the idea going with fiber (although that may even be overkill). They're putting in something which they know is not going to be a limit in the future so they don't need to worry about being stuck with obsolete cable.

    The current lines are being squeezed to carry as much data as possible and that's causing problems. Hence, I do not see this as an issue of "Copper is not fast enough." It's that crappy old 2-wire phone cables are not fast enough. I really don't think that all that much more can be done with them by just trying to tweak the modulation and compression and such. It's just about hit the wall.
  • Re:Famous scam? (Score:2, Informative)

    by c0nehead (581714) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @01:30PM (#21102181) Homepage
    Adams platform [slashdot.org].

    Also Australian. Who would have guessed it's an island full of criminals?
  • Re:Metaphor please (Score:2, Informative)

    by Hucko (998827) on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @07:58PM (#21107241)
    Umm... a wire wirelessly push a signal? Lets use the unusual and very exotic term, induction. That means wires wirelessly push signals onto other wires. We could use back emf, too, though that is a little better known. This is a tech site after all.
  • Re:Metaphor please (Score:3, Informative)

    by petermgreen (876956) <plugwash@p10liWELTYnk.net minus author> on Wednesday October 24, 2007 @09:16PM (#21108017) Homepage
    It would travel to the break in the line, hit the end, and travel back towards the source
    all discontinuities cause some degree of reflection and it can be a big issue as frequencies get higher. Telco wiring is likely to be full of discontinuities (cross connect panels, different cable types etc).

    destroying everything in it's path.
    Luckilly it doesn't destroy everything in it's path. It destroys some frequencies attenuates others and boosts others. Oh and it causes some nasty phase effects too. It is a very similar effect to that of multipath distortion in radio systems. The fact that primitive systems like thinnet couldn't cope with this doesn't mean it is impossible to do so.

    What has really changed (and continues to change) is the systems we can put on the end of a line. DSP chips get ever more powerfull and with them ever more complex encoding schemes become availible. Systems can split the availible bandwidth into narrow bands an then tailor the encoding perameters to match what is going on in each band.

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