Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
The Internet

VDSL Demoed 102

coaxial writes "According to Techweb, STMicroelectronics and Telia Research AB demonstrated VDSL (Very-High-Bit-Rate DSL). Supposedly it will allow 60Mbps and be available by 2001. " I've heard rumours of demonstrations to be down at Comdex in couple weeks. Need to keep my eyes open for that.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

VDSL Demoed

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Only about 20% of homes in the US can get any form of DSL. Now they're talking about giving them another kind of DSL? How about focusing your efforts on reaching the other 80% of the market that wants it instead of the 20% that already has it?!

    I think this would actually be helpful in getting traditional DSL (or other fast access technologies) out to more remote users in that the telcos or cablecos wouldn't have to string fibre to replace the existing copper on the poles. They could just put in a VDSL box every couple of miles and thereby supply the bandwidth to get the users within range of that box hooked up at 512kbs or 640kbs. A single VDSL connection could host 100 such connections simultaneously which probably would allow a 1000 end users.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Signal degradation isn't really an issue. The largest issue is actually the number of bridges encountered to the LO. The largest problem by far is impedance mismatches (it happens because the internal Impedance of the line changes over distance) between the bridge and the line. These mismatches set up reflections which end up distorting the signal more than the actual degradation due to the loss in the line (Intersymbol Interference). THus, the more bridges you come into contact with - the worse off you are. I guess you can call it signal degradation - but the real limitation is the number of bridges between you and the LO. I'm basically screwed because I'm close to the LO, but there have to be 80 bridges between me and the LO. There still is an issue with length, but a 2 mile line without bridges is going to be better than were I'm at.

    What makes me sketchy is that last I heard, they were pushing for VDSL over fiber - not over copper. I guess its possible - depending on how old your local telephone backbone is.

  • I can second that story in Broomfield, CO. USWest told us sorry, we can't get you DSL, but we would be glad to get you a frame relay, i.e. T1. Loop charges weren't too bad ($300/month) but ISP fees about knocked me out of my chair ($700/month).

    Then about a month later a salesman from Covad came along and sold my boss on SDSL (this is for a company), and he signed up right away (our ISDN stinks).

    Well nothing happend for two months and then all of a sudden we get a message from Covad saying that they can not get us DSL service, we are too far from the CO. ARRG!!! US West told us that three months ago!

    Wish they had just checked with the local loop carrier before even wasting our time getting our hopes up! That, and this business is in a decently large business park, and the fact that we can't get anything faster than 128k ISDN (which is on a good day with the wind at its back) is pretty sad!

    Now Covad said they might be able to get us a 144kbps Telebit service thing... We are looking into it, but not with very high hopes. That 384kpbs with option to double DSL was very sweet looking. Too bad it turned out to be another pipedream. Oh well, back to work!
    ------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------

  • by davie ( 191 ) on Tuesday November 02, 1999 @10:06AM (#1568938) Journal

    From the article:
    VDSL technology has an aggregate capacity of up to 60 Mbits/second over short distances...

    DSL is a pipedream until the distance-sensitivity problem is solved. I also read (I think it was on C|Net) recently that there are a lot of complaints about poor implementations (braindead admins, most likely) and less-than-acceptable throughput.

    For what it's worth, SWB just rolled out ADSL in our area (NE Oklahoma) and we're about 2k ft. too far from the C.O. SWB tell me that they will be upgrading to a technology that will allow them to move the service points out closer to the customers some time next year, but I'm not holding my breath. They keep promising cheap, fat pipes, but we're still stuck with $150 a month ISDN (128K) or $1,000+ a month T1 (yes, I know T1 is sym. therefore better) if we want bandwidth.

    Is it just me, or are the telcos and telco/cable people (since AT&T swallowed up TCI) just stringing us along so they can squeeze every possible penny out of T1, etc. before they make consumer broadband a reality?

  • by Jordy ( 440 ) <jordan AT snocap DOT com> on Tuesday November 02, 1999 @02:54PM (#1568939) Homepage
    What is a decent overcommit for high-speed users anyway? I've been hearing anywhere from 5:1 to 100:1 but nobody has good solid evidence one way or the next.
    Nationwide the average ISP pays roughly $1000 per megabit for bandwidth to their upstream provider. There's additional costs involved in the circuit between the CO and the ISP, the circuit to their upstream provider, and tech support and what not.

    But you can figure out for yourself roughly what the ISP needs to overcommit just to break even on bandwidth. 1.5 Mbps ADSL in Bell Atlantic territory averages about $40/month which means the ISP must overcommit 37.5:1 to break even on bandwidth.

    Subtract roughly $5 per customer in tech support costs, 15% profit margin and it comes out to about 40:1 overcommit rate.

    Of course that still doesn't include equipment, adminstrative costs, software development costs, management costs, etc.

    It also doesn't take into account the 'free' outbound bandwidth which ADSL users can't use which you can use for web hosting and what not in attempt to recoup some money.

  • so that the places that currently have [AS]DSL will get VDSL, and the places that don't currently have anything get [AS]DSL... that would mean yours truly gets better bandwidth!

    Which, after all, is all that matters, right? :)
  • by crayz ( 1056 )
    I'm on cable and I can download at 500K/sec and upload at 100K/sec, why would I want DSL also?
  • Actually there's no such thing as a T3. You're referring to a DS3 which has the a payload equivalent to 28 DS1 (T1) "channels" or 7 DS2 "channels.

    As I understand it the "T" designator refers to an electrical specification (these days B8ZS/ESF) but the actual bandwidth of a T1 (1.544mbps raw, 1.536mbps unchannelized, and 1.344mpbs channellized)* whereas the DS designation refers to the logical ordering of bits. It's simialr to how you can send NRZ data any way you please, but it's only called RS-232 if you're sending them with an electrical spec of +/- x volts, with marks being -ve and spaces +ve.

    DS3s aren't sent via any particular method. It coudl be sent via this VDSL, SONET, etc., whereas a T1 is sent via T1. A DS1 could be sent via DSL, T1, SONET (but why?) etc.

    * I'm not clear on this -- B8ZS encoding leaves the channels 8-bit clean (as oppose to AMI which doesn't and forces the LSB to a 1 giving you 24 56k channels) -- why is the channelized T1 not 64k * 24 channels, as whichever 8-bit timeslots you're sending in determine which channels you're on?

    Anyway -- the other point I wanted to mention was that yes it's only 45mbps, but everyone overcommits the bandwidth. How much I'm not sure (hopefully someone else will post that information) -- It's the same as how your dialups are usually on a 6:1 or 7:1 user:line ratio. Just because you have 300 dialup users doesn't mean you have 300 dialup lines available. You likely have 48 or so. I'm not sure how the overcommit games is played in the 24/7 market, but you can bet your bottom dollar that if they have a 45mbps backbone, they don't have ONLY 28 DS1 ports on it. Probably a hundred or so.
  • Actually I work for an ISP and we're going around the telco. YES you'll need a seperate line unfortunately, but we're using SDSL modems (pairgain 300s') which, in our small town will do about 1.2mbit about 6km out, and up to 128k up to about 10 or 12km... That means we can link up the businesses and the like...

    ...and my house... :-)

    DSL is good stuff, but it is a shame the distance blows large hairy donkeys. Cable would be nice if they didn't overcommit their bandwidth 300:1.

    What is a decent overcommit for high-speed users anyway? I've been hearing anywhere from 5:1 to 100:1 but nobody has good solid evidence one way or the next.
  • That's all well and good, but I'm still waiting for BT to get off their backsides, and supply ADSL. They've just announced that they're dropping the speed from 2Mb/s to 512Kb/s and putting prices up at the same time. According to my ISP, they probably won't be able to get me ADSL until March at the earliest (BT have were saying September, but decided to delay it, presumably to screw as much out of their kilostream customers as possible before ADSL). And when it does arrive, it'll probably cost the equivalent of over US$150 per month :-(
  • by Wiggins ( 3161 ) on Tuesday November 02, 1999 @09:15AM (#1568945) Homepage
    ...I am glad to hear things like this are going to be demoed and such. ANd it is great that it will roll out by 2001, but the fact that I have no options for highbandwidth period and live in a fairly populated (no not New York, or S.F. or Dallas) but this is a silly subject to get excited about until someone comes out and says yes you to can have high bandwidth, and actually mean people who live in cities with under 1 million people. Until that day I will only hope, and be unimpressed.
  • <pedant>
    Because it's probably cheaper than running 10 miles of single-mode fiber, which is what you'd need if you want a 10-mile long ethernet link..
    Your Working Boy,
  • Year Typical Big Backbone Speed

    1992 T-1 1.544 Mbps
    1995 T-3 44.736 Mbps
    1996 OC-3 155.52 Mbps
    1997 OC-12 622.08 Mbps
    1999 OC-48 2.488 Gbps

    logarithmic prediction:

    2000 OC-192 10 Gbps
    2002 100 Gbps
    2004 1 Tbps
    2006 10 Tbps

    Thought: 10 Tbps = 1.6 kbps for every person on the planet
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Tuesday November 02, 1999 @09:16AM (#1568948)
    God, not another "Wonderful technology YOU can't have(tm)". Only about 20% of homes in the US can get any form of DSL. Now they're talking about giving them another kind of DSL? How about focusing your efforts on reaching the other 80% of the market that wants it instead of the 20% that already has it?! *grumbling*

    How many of you begged and pleaded with your local telco to get DSL? How many of you called up the PUC, or the CLECs in your area? How many of you honestly did the number crunching to see if you could get a frame relay to your house? Probably alot of you.

    Great technology.... (bastards). Sorry.. I just get really emotional sometimes (bastards). *sigh*

  • The "distance-sensitivity problem", as you put it, is a fundamental technical limit rather than something that's going to be solved by some clever encoding algorithm. As I understand it, the permissible bandwith of a cable reduces proportionally to its length due to signal loss and interference, and the maximum data rate is relates to the bandwith through Shannon's (?) Law (which I've forgotten the exact formula for).
    In any case, I think the limit for VSDL-type speed is a few hundred metres - not particularly useful unless the telcos install mini-exchanges on every street.

    FWIW, I'd be happy with 1mbit/sec or so, if our local Telcos/cable operators (which are basically one and the same in Oz) weren't charging 35c/MB for it!

  • Hmph. Instead of getting faster DSL, I may be getting a slower one. Our business is too far from the CO, so they can't install SDSL, even at the lowest speed.

    These two ISPs I'm talking to say they might start to support IDSL (or DSL-Lite), which can go longer distances but at a slower bit-rate (140kbps).

    Has anyone else had any experience with this?

  • Same situation here.... SWBell rolled out DSL with great fanfare here (St. Louis, MO), but vast (and highly populated) areas of the city and suburbs are beyond the distance limit.

    They also have declined to deploy it in some commercial areas (notably the Westport area, for those of you familiar with St. Louis) that have a high concentration of businesses currently paying for T1 lines.

    Of course, the cable companies here either offer nothing at all, or one-way cable modems (which require a dialup connection for the uplink).

  • The signal degradation thing is highly implementation dependant. You are right that for VDSL its likely you will have to be extremely close (wild guess 2000ft ) to the CO for maximum performance. Of course the chances of you getting 60Mbps to your house anytime in the next 5-10 years are pretty much 0 as the backbones can barely support the current load, much less a few thousand people with T3s to thier doorsteps.

    On the other hand most ADSL modems work best at a range of 6-9000ft and things dont get too ugly till about 12000ft or so. Past 13000ft and you might as well forget it. An interesting fact about ADSL is that the middle range is actually better then being point blank as all the ADSL modems transmit at a fixed power level, too far from the CO and it degrades, too close and it leaks into other frequencies. This is of course assuming the copper you are on doesnet suck completely.

    There are special implmentations such as Nortels 1 meg modem that will deliver 1Mbit+ way out at 20000ft.


  • Yes. If they need broadband Internet, let them pay the real cost of getting it.

    Otherwise they are screwing me. Nice attitude, huh?
  • Compelling link -- Now I understand why land is so cheap out in rural Arizona - Phone service is $300,000!

    Is it "for good for society" to give individuals $300,000 or $2400 of real estate subsidies so that they have the 'freedom' can live in a retirement community far away from anything? (I'm not even including federal water subsidies, and so on.) I'm pretty dubious at that proposition - it defies basic economies of scale and leads to unnatural economic situations.

    It's unfortuate that we don't believe in universal telephone service anymore, but I can't see the argument for Internet service. If like you say, "eventually everything will be broadband", it's not going to happen by stringing a wire out to everyone's house in the US's largely unpopulated countryside and sparsely populated outer suburbs. Better hope for a wireless solution.

    Elsewhere in this thread, people noted that broadband penetration is high in Canada. There's a reason for that -- Canada has development controls that have lead to a much higher population density in urban areas. Consequently it's cheaper and easier to rollout all services, from mass transit to broadband Internet. Density matters, especially in an unregulated Internet economy.

  • When the telephone system was being created, the thought was that it was such an essential service that the generally more well-off high density cities should subsidize the wiring to the generally depressed rural communities. This system worked wonderfully, providing universal access that was still affordable.

    However, like many other rural subsidies (such as the highway programs), the net effect was that millions of Americans found it reasonable to move to areas of very low densities for quality of life reasons.

    You have to realize that low density communities and anything that comes in on a wire do not mix well. The cable companies almost drove themselves out of business in the 1980s trying to provide universal service, and you can be damn sure that the DSL companies won't do the same thing.

    Considering the short range of DSL, if you live in a community with 1 acre lots, I'd be suprised if you ever got the service. You made a lifestyle choice and you don't deserve it. And if you do get broadband, I hope you are paying the real cost -- not relying on subsidies from higher density areas that far cheaper to provide service to.

  • The costs can certainly be controlled. In the next two years we will learn a lot about xDSL technologies. As it is rolled out in the next 12-24 months, you should expect the prices to drop and the competition to rise.

    The real sticking point with VDSL is the distance sensitive nature of it. It will make sense in large apartment buildings first. This would permit you to surf the net, talk on the phone and watch "every movie ever made in every language" or whatever (probably more like all the porn that you can take from every conceivable angle).

    However, we may see that people that don't have ADSL now will be MORE likely to get VDSL. VDSL will involve putting some environmentally hardened equipment out at some box in your neighborhood and being fed by fiber back to the central office. People that are far away from the central offices are already (in many cases) fed by fiber. being fed by fiber prevents ADSL from working, but will ensure that those people will be served by VDSL.

  • i live in boston, and the irony is that, until just recently, there was no cable modem or DSL actually IN boston itself but there was full service in every dinky little suburb around it.

    apparently this had to do with the strange monopoly situation which i am not entirely clear on (or, strictly speaking, care about). just give me my damn bandwidth! :)
  • sure, the technology may be available soon. However, i'm convinced that very few telcos will distribute vdsl to the consumers. The main reason: bandwidth. Currently, many xdsl lines run into one t3 (or ever in some lowly cases, a t1). However, when the consumer expects bandwidth of 60 mbps, it won't take long for a t3 to be filled.

    this brings up another concern: cost. will telcos charge outrageous prices for this new technology, if they provide it at all? certainly!

    the great thing is that the modems for vdsl will be backwards compatible with adsl. this will allow consumers to purchase such a modem and use it for adsl, upgrading to vdsl when they (or their telco) see fit.

  • The big problem with using satellite packets is the latency of systems I've tried. If the application is delay sensitive, such as with online games, you can be the worse for a satellite. A short round-trip time is more important than accomodating a higher rate.

    A server that I can ping at around 40ms with my DSL connection takes generally 500-700ms on my Hughes dish. The outbound packet headers contain a source address to the subscribers sat transmission POP which can be many more hops than shown from your outbound network interface. Then your downsteam packets are queued with every other subscriber for transmission. I'm better off with only a modem in this situation, even when factoring in the latency for modulation.

    If you can receive a good DSL signal in the first place, what would be the benefit of bringing in a dish?
  • Since there is hardly any ISP with backbone connection faster than a T3, who will offer it and get you full speed? It will be such a bandwidth hog that it'll be awhile before anybody will offer it at an affordable price for residential use. Until ISP's can get very high speed backbone connections at a better price it will be a bit before you can get it at home.

    PS How come when I submitted this story early this morning it got rejected? I think the squandron of samuri squirels are getting reject happy!
  • I live in Seattle and I too live "too far" from the US West DSL hubs. Then I found out that Covad does support my area. My roommates and I immediately signed up for 784kbps DSL. Unfortunately, Covad's customer service has been horrendous. We signed up two months ago and still don't have DSL. Covad has postponed our installation date twice due to "facility problems". Currently, we're hanging in the wind with no planned installation date.

    And where is Covad's network? Apparently, they get the "last mile" network from US West, the same US West that didn't want to give us DSL service but will give DSL network support to Covad for the same area!?

    (sorry for venting, they're holding my bandwidth hostage :-)
  • I currently live in the zone of no-high speed internet access. Where I live, I'm about 3 miles from getting Warner Cable Road Runner. I'm also about 3 miles from being able to get ISDN. My phone lines go through some old crappy analog switches, and I can only get a 26.4K modem connect.

    I've check just about every high speed solution out there, and the only one that is feasible for my area is a satillite dish. But, I would still have to use my (slow) modem for upstream. Big Lose.
  • Yeah, I have heard the same things and am now laying all my hopes on Cable Modems. I was speaking to a TeleWest customer rep a few weeks back (cus rep so take with a pinch of salt), and he told me that they had all had a briefing about Cable modems and that they were coming out "Q1 2000". He also believed that they were in the 40-60UKP range (60-90USD?).

    Unfortunately all this means I will have to abandon my current ISP, Demon Internet, who seems to have fantastic international bandwidth, fixed IPs, SMTP mail delivery, etc. Ideal for a tech like me. Cable will probably put me behind some poxy firewall I don't want to "protect me from hackers" and give me a dynamic IP. In actuality the firewall will be to prevent me from setting up a web server, etc. Anyone here work for Telewest to open up a few holes in the firewall pointing to my fixed IP?

  • Covad installs their own DSLM's in US West CO's, so they can provide service in places where US West does not. In most cases, they bring in their own copper from the CO to you also.
  • If you didn't see length mentioned, look for the word "short". It's mentioned.
  • As with most such things it comes with some baggage.

    The signaling rates of such technologies are moving higher and higher into the RF spectrum and as such have a very real potential (especially when not used in properly shielded environments) to both cause RFI and become more susceptible to it.

    This is going to be especially true if deployed on the rather mediocre twin wire telephone lines that feed most of our homes and businesses.

  • I'm gonna have to wait for the VVDSL!
  • I'm always amazed when these high-bandwidth discussions come up on Slashdot and American after American complains about still being on dial-up or paying US$80 for a tempermental high speed service.

    Every one of my Canadian friends is on cable or DSL and the cost is US$30 (after tax). I mean, frickin' Nanaimo, British Columbia, has cable modems now. This is a medium-sized town on Vancouver Island. Not a capital. Not a big centre. They race bathtubs there. Seriously.

    Now, I admit that part of the reason for this post is to say "ha! ha!" Sorry. But I also sincerely don't understand why the States lag so far behind its northern neighbour. Has our tolerance for monopolies helped us? Fewer population centres to cover?

    And to the Scarberian who can't get DSL in Ontario, try Rogers@Home instead. I know four people in Scarborough on cable and none of them have problems.

    That being said, one of the advantages of Canada is that we only have to put up with 10% of the people that Americans do. So please, stay where you are! There are bears here! And taxes! Stay!

  • Thanks for the thoughtful reply, FalseConsciousness. I hope other people come across it.
  • USWEST is deploying VDSL even as we speak (not quite 60 mbps, more like 25). I doubt if you will ever be able to get 60mbps fully dedicated to data to your home. Most of the bandwidth will be used for video, with the equivalent of an ADSL line for data, and a little piece of the BW for POTS.
  • I just checked out (see my previous reply to "Bandwidth Constraints ...). They call their VDSL service ChoiceTV.

    BTW, I also noticed they have an ADSL sevice called Megabit 256, which offers 256k. Is that a misleading name or what? ("59 minute cleaners is just the name of the shop. Your clothes will be ready next week.")
  • "I guess they put in a bunch of new COs for this service all over town."

    Actually, they are probably using "Fiber-To-The-Curb" boxes to the neighborhoods, then existing copper from their to the homes.
  • $19.95/month for 256k service. I believe PacBell is charging $49, and it's much higher on the East Coast (don't know which RBOC).
  • Just because you have a bad distributer doesn't mean this isn't good. DSL for me was a 1/2 install of a network card and software. Plug the external modem into the wall and the card, put a phonejack filter on each phone/fax and voila.
    No upload caps, reasonable price, uses the same phone line as voice with no extra wiring required.
    The entire kit was sent to me, within 2 days of ordering. The line was even availble before my official turn on date. Sweet. $39.95 1Meg/down 120K/up

    I can't wait to get the VDSL when it comes out, the only caveat is that, as another user stated,
    the backbones will need necessary upgrades to cope.
  • nuff said :)
  • Schweet!

    (I just wish my phone number had DSL)

    It will be interesting to see what kind of pricing stucture this has, it will probably have big $$ with it at first...

    (First post?)
  • Woohoo! Even faster downloads on pr0n... some people will think that's a good thing, too.

    I have this thought: how complex will it be to implement a cable/satellite + DSL system, so that downloads come over cable and uploads go out on DSL? And we get the phone line back when we'd much rather do the heavy breathing ear to ear instead of using chat boxes? (Flipness aside, I'm sure someone's worried about this already - pointers, anyone?)

  • >God, not another "Wonderful technology YOU can't have(tm)".

    I couldn't have said it better myself.

    I live in Toronto and Bell Canada can't even get their HighSpeed Edition of Sympatico to my condo. There are 5 other condos on the same block!!! And I'm talking about a high income area + high density. And no, I don't really care how far away I am from a call-centre.

  • I live in Toronto (Scarborough) and Sympatico High-Speed edition is not available in my area. I live in an area with 5 condos.

    Unless you live in a particular area you can forget about getting any technology.

    Hell, I know of complains about poor DSL service in downtown Toronto. Apparently because the underground lines are so old.
  • I wonder when that will be available in cincinnati? I think I should call the Phone Company now :-)

  • Even with 2 gig lines on your backbone, it wouldn't take an lot of 60 MBPS users to fill it out. Up until a couple of years ago, the backbone consisted of 45mbps lines
    Perhaps communities of "opensource-minded" folk can use high-speed services like this to add additional backbone capacity, instead of merely being an added burden on the existing backbones.
  • The ADSL Forum [] has a VDSL FAQ that explains more fully the wide speed differences.

    I know that here in Cincinnati the ADSL coverage misses a lot of people because they are out of the 18,000 foot-from-the-CO range. I can only imagine what the coverage would be like (actual I can, there would only be a handful of subscribers) if the distance was even the 6.5MB 5000 feet.

    I would have to imagine that this will be one of those technologies that is really cool, but not economical to roll out because of its limited coverage area.

  • currently i'm paying for a 256k adsl line. happy is me that it often outperforms that mark, but the service was just offered to our area. i'm sure that speeds will drastically go down when more people take advantage of the service.

    will this new technology, that i cant have yet , have the same sort of problems? does anyone really know what the connections would be like if/when a real %age of people are using these lines. by the time this new tech comes out we may already be in that position. is the industry taking into consideration this as much as they should or is this new fast connection just going to be a gimmick to geeks who want to brag.

  • Curious to know where the number 60 Mbps was found. The only information I see in the referenced article [] says the following:

    VDSL data-access rates vary depending on the
    length and condition of a line, from 26 Mbit/s
    symmetrical over about 1,000 feet, down to 6.5
    Mbits/s symmetrical at approximately 5,000 feet.

    Not that I'd complain about 6.5 Mbps.

  • I have set up this very thing. It's not hard; just get some router (linux, cisco, even winnt if you have to), tell you programs to bind to your incoming connection IP, and route your outgoing packets out the outgoing connection. When they come back it will be through the incoming connection.

    They don't have to be the same ISP, and as long as neither one engages in anti-smurfing filters, it will work without intervention.
  • Hmmm...I have adsl at home, and have no problems whatsoever with bandwidth. It's the servers that I connect to, and the routing to them, that is slow. In theory, I could transfer at 2.4Mbits/s, but I rarely get downloads this fast. I'm more impressed by advances in backbone/router technology, because it will prove to be a little more useful.
  • Ah, yes of course.

    But your in the minority, my friend, if all you had to do was install a dingle, twist a gidget, and POOF, out pops baby bandwidth.

    Here in Chicago area there are no gingles to twist or gidgets to push. Here, we wait for Ameritech.

    And here, we all know (as evidenced by all of our posts on chi.internet) that if it can be fscked up, Ameritech will fsck it up.

    I'm sure the same can be said for any other telco when it comes to DSL: PacBell, Boston Atlantic, etc.

    The nightmares far, far outweigh the "chill dude, all's I had to do was place a call and it worked" installations.

  • by schweda ( 58011 ) on Tuesday November 02, 1999 @09:47AM (#1568988)
    I'm not sure why this is exciting news.

    Nevermind the obvious facts that (a) DSL is only available to a small percentage of the population due to the distance-from-CO requirements, (b) that getting DSL installed is a nightmare (Ameritech [for example] has to come out, install the line, then Rhythms, then you need to sync up properly, etc. etc.), (c) DSL pricing is still widely variable (I pay 49 bucks a months for 1.04/1.04 SDSL, yet a buddy of mine pays 185 bucks a month for 384/128 ADSL), (d) providers offering xDSL take anywhere from 4-12 weeks to actually the DSL working (because of, ahem, Ameritech fscking up the install, missing install dates, calling for additional $$$ for construction) -- nevermind these obvious facts, what makes this such uninteresting news is that unless VDSL uses some revolutionary sort of technology that means less expense for the telcos or that it somehow obviates the infamous "truck-roll" it'll only add more confusion to the already confused and expensive DSL market.

    Not to mention that VDSL would probably only be affordable if it forces some sort of upload/download cap on the average home-user.

    To me, a home-user, VDSL screams out a couple things: extremely fast downloads of MP3s and extremely fast downloads of warez, period. It means I can run a bigass server on a fat pipe.

    So what?

    I got an upload cap on my SDSL service (49 bucks/month which includes 1 gig upload w/additional uploads at 20 bucks a gig.)

    Everyone is trying to limit everything -- downloads, uploads, the number of minutes for streaming video, etc. etc.

    And what all this means is that everyone is terrified of bandwidth because bandwidth is expensive. So, please, you're gonna taunt me with VDSL but say, well, I'm capped to 20 gigs a month or capped to 10 mins a day of broadcast quality video, or use some weird-ass PPPoE protocol so that, well, it's DSL but it's not 24/7?

    Please. Forget it.

  • The backbone doesn't need to handle the bandwidth, if people like Akamai [] and InfoLibria [] have their way. They put servers at the ISP headend, and charge content providers for cacheing their material at the "edge of the web".

    Consider that much news footage is shot in DV25 these days. This is a 25 Mbps format. I think VDSL + edge servers looks really interesting for full-quality video delivery.

    I'm not forgetting the quality-of-implementation and distance-from-CO issues; I just figure they'll get worked out eventually.

  • but, If you call now to sign up the phone company will probably just be getting to it in 2001! Hehe.
  • The difference between the US and Canada in the telecom and cable fields has partly to do with the history of telecommunications policy. I think for most of this century, Canadians valued telecommunications more highly than Americans did (doesn't seem possible, does it).

    The first Broadcasting Act (1920s? 30s?) said that the "National" broadcasting system would be responsible for providing service to the entire nation. It is not clear in the Act whether the CBC=="national broadcasting system" or whether the CBC is just one part of it, and I believe this lack of clarity has persisted. The CBC does have those millions of repeaters in remote villages though.

    This policy environment was probably at least partly responsible for stimulating the academic debates that resulted in the work of communication theorists like Innis (and later, McLuhan). Innis in particular was able to see a centre vs. hinterlands communications environment, one of the touchstones of his work, developing in front of his eyes.

    Given the immense distances between population centres (and a lack of suitable land lines, and the availability of some ready cash from governments), Canada was an early adopter of satellite and microwave-repeater technologies and played a key role in telecom development (at least a role out of proportion to Canada's economic and population status).

    When cable became a viable technology in the early 70's, cable companies were set up as government-mandated monopolies. The philosophy at this time was still that anything that arrived in your house via a pipe or wire should be regarded as a "natural monopoly", because any other way of handling it would just be too difficult to manage.

    The original Canadian cable monopolies were mostly small, and mostly confined to one city or a clearly defined portion of a city. This led to rapid availability of the service - nobody could get the monopoly for an area unless they made a guarantee that they would deliver the service more or less uniformly across that region. Having made the initial investment in dishes, wires, and other hardware, the companies also had to build their customer base quickly, so "free" services such as premium movie channels or late night soft porn were available in some areas. Households with cable quickly climbed to over 70% in urban areas.

    What the regulators and policy-makers either didn't foresee (or weren't bothered about) was the rapid (over the period of ten years or so) accumulation of smaller cable companies in the hands of huge media companies like Rogers and Maclean-Hunter (Shaw, as far as I know, wasn't really huge until a bit later on). The broadcast regulators seem instead to have spent most of their energy in wringing their hands over their failure to foster a domestic television and radio production industry. Every new service which has been added to cable since the early 80's - pay channels, packages of specialty channels, pay-per-view - has been implemented with assurances that it would somehow benefit film and television production in Canada. Some of these efforts have been unconditional failures (the pay-tv service called "C-channel" in the early 80s); others have been mild successes (the demand for animation from Canadian studios has arguably increased, and the markets for those studios' products may have widened).

    Given the wide adoption of cable and the fact that it is controlled by a very few companies, Canada was able to deliver cable modems to consumers very quickly and relatively cheaply, in spite of a late start relative to the US. The telcos, which had been dragging their feet in bringing ADSL to consumers. Given the fact that the "old" telcos were few in number and were accustomed to collaborating on and setting national standards, ADSL's availability around urban switches was good - once they made up their minds to deliver it.

    Since the telcos were forewarned that local service was going to be opened up to competition, they started a furious program of developing premium services, and ADSL was on this list. The services themselves are useless for retaining customers unless the customers adopt them, so between the initial planning stages and the actual public availability of ADSL, the price kept dropping and dropping, and believe is still dropping. Rogers, Shaw, et al would have beens tupid not to see that coming, so they adjusted the rates for their cable modem service. Now both sit at around the same level in most locales, about 1.5 to 2x the cost of an unlimited dialup account with an ISP.

    True to form, the delivery of "broadband" to consumers in Canada has resulted in a lot of homes being wired, but most of the content going to those homes is from the US. The banks, retail businesses, and media outlets in Canada have all dragged their feet where the internet is concerned (even while some of them have been spending enormous sums on it). The old (70s/80s/90s) strategy of taxing the delivery services to fund domestic content, or regulating the percentage of Canadian-produced content in a particular medium, just will not work in the current net environment (if they could ever have been said to have "worked").

    I assume that my version of history has some good holes in it too. But that's the view from the clouds.


  • I'd say a big part of that is that some sites are hooked up with something like a T1, which is around 1.3 Mbits/s. So, if you're the only visitor, you get a nice 1.3 Mbits/s. But, if there are 100 visitors all downloading something, all you get is a measly 13kbits. Not quite so impressive. Sure there's probably a lot of problems with the backbone too.

    I think it's not really worth it, because here at work on our fractional T1 I usually get anywhere from 3-10KBytes/s. Oh well.
  • when i can stick with that 10 mile long cat5 cable that i plugged directly into the hub at school?
  • As much as most of the people on slashdot will like to gobble data, the main reason telcos will ever implement VDSL is not for 60Mbps data transmission, but for television. It would allow the telcos to directly compete with the cable companies. I qoute USWEST's VDSL Site []:

    Choice TV and OnLine - Developed to compete head-on with the cable companies, U S WEST's Choice TV[VDSL] and OnLine represents the nation's first and only full-scale rollout of integrated digital TV and online services using VDSL technology.

    The telcos are going to use their existing infrastructure to compete with the cable companies. The system isn't designed to give every person in America 60Mbps internet access, as others had saig, the existing backbone isn't fast enough, rather, its going to give the telcos instant access into a sector they have traditionally stayed out of. Competition, yummy.

    Peter Pawlowski

  • TCI is THE WORST cable company of all time! Horrible service, exaggerated prices, disgusting quality, and incompetent workers. I live right across the street from where TWC offers cable TV + Cable Modems but on my side of the street TCI has the rights to. No one has cable modems and we pay 3x as much for crappy cable with less channels. We get like 20 spanish channels yet I don't know any one spanish who watches cable tv! Cable modems are over-rated anyways. Thank God I live close to a Sprint CO and that they just dramatically lowered prices for adsl.
  • how much is it going to cost? And when will it be avaialable? My roommates and I pay about 80 a month for a 512 kbit line and 5 static IP's. This technology is currently WORTHLESS. Speeds this high won't even be offered to the average consumer for probably 5 to 10 years.

    There are too many other hurdles to be cleared, political and economic. Technology is not even close to the limiting factor right now in consumer broadband.

    Almost anywhere you go, the local cable and phone service is a monopoly. In some places it might be an oligopoly, I doubt you'll see more than 2 competitors anywhere in one market. Therefore, they can get away with price gouging, and hold back new technologies.

    Why would these companies invest in their infrastructure to support this? These companies would rather charge you $20 a month for modem service that costs them probably 10 cents a month. Don't like that fact? Well, you can't tell your phone company to f' off, because you have no alternative. The telecommunications act a few years back only makes this situation worse.

    I don't know why this company even wasted their time developing this technology (sounds like a "I've got the biggest penis" thing to me). They should be putting their money into political lobbyists to try and break this monopoly situation. As far as I'm concerned, this technology doesn't even exist. It won't affect me or anyone else for a long time.
  • Regarding the idea of using DSL as a companion to Satellite, I think it's a good one. Right now the big thing keeping me from the wonders of satellite is that I'd have to do my upstream over a clunky old modem, so it a company could pair these two, that'd be great.

    OTOH, regarding the ability to use voice, all the ADSL implementations I've seen allow that anyhow. I mean, voice communication only uses, like, 1% of the copper's transmission capacity, so why bother cutting it off. I used Bell Canada's ADSL service for a couple months, 1Mbit downstream, 128KBit upstream, but I could pick up the phone anytime I wanted. It was all multiplexed.

    BTW - It occurs to me now that the DSL/Satellite thing probably won't take off (no pun intended). If a company is in a position to offer you a DSL hookup just for your upstream on their satellite service, why not just get yourself a decent xDSL connect and screw the satellite? With this new tech, the DSL is likely to have comparable if not better transmission speeds, and it's two way.
  • "...a lifestyle choice and don't deserve it. And if you do get broadband, I hope you are paying the real cost -- not relying on subsidies from higher density areas..."

    Deserves? Nice attitude. What about farmers, doctors, etc. that must live in low density areas? Screw them, huh?

  • I guess I'm assuming that eventually everything will be broadband, so if you want to make a phone call, you're going to need it. This article seems relevant, since we're most likely talking about new construction in rural areas to upgrade the existing equipment. []

    Me, I don't mind paying more for the good of society. Not about to try and force my beliefs on you, though.


  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Tuesday November 02, 1999 @10:25AM (#1569000) Homepage Journal
    Even with 2 gig lines on your backbone, it wouldn't take an lot of 60 MBPS users to fill it out. Up until a couple of years ago, the backbone consisted of 45mbps lines. In a few places, more than one, but still 45mbps lines. Though by the time this technology is even possible for the consumer, the backbone will probably be able to handle terabits per second.

    But even if the backbone can handle the load, what about the telcos themselves? As someone recently pointed out, they're not going into DSL wholeheartedly at least partially because they want to protect their lucrative T1 business. You can easily squeeze T1 and faster speeds out of DSL and small to medium businesses are going to start waking up to that fact if they haven't already.

    Fortunately, there's some competition in this area. US West has been blowing me off for about a year on the DSL issue. Just recently I checked Covad's web page and found that they would cheerfully install a line to my house, so I ordered one from them. Yay, competition!

  • er, isn't the entire reason you're given a dynamic ip to PREVENT you having a web server ?? (you could always use dynamic dns or something but only as subdomains of or something similar ;) ) They'll probbly close of half the ports though, we're soooo behind with all this stuff this side of the ocean, BT really need to wake up methinks.
  • I wish NYC were where these marketing types were aiming their rollout. Alas, it aint so. This year (only in the last few months), Manhattan is starting to rollout Bell Atlantic's DSL. You could get DSL from other networks (like covad, red) for a big price premium and a big fight with the local office. I had a friend trying to get a connect through an alternative DSL provider before BA started the rollout and the delays mounted up into the multi-month scale. Apparently BA was conveniently 'forgetting' appointments at the local office to let the competitors install DSL. This situation has changed when BA started their rollout.

    As for Cable, I got to laugh. About a month ago was the first time Time Warner (who serves the vast majority of NYC customers) acknowledged a cable modem rollout. When? Sometime in 2000-2001 they will start this rollout.

    So DSL is a couple months old and Cable modems have yet to be seen. Folks, don't believe it when people say that NYC is what is being catered to. Look to Boston and SF and other 'target' markets for that rap. I live in Brooklyn and won't see broadband for about a year.
  • this is a silly subject to get excited about until someone comes out and says yes you to can have high bandwidth, and actually mean people who live in cities with under 1 million people.

    I live outside Boston (a city of ~650,000) and have cable modem. And we even have DSL around here (though its astronomically priced).

    But you're right. They need to start deploying these technologies outside the few major metros. Marketing types have this uncanny nack for thinking that New York & LA are the entire U.S., forgetting that the vast majority of the population lives in that big flat space in between :)

  • How can ADSL cost more than DSL?????
  • I told my friend that im going to get a 3 mile long lan cable and hook up to him!

    I wonder how much this will cost, where i am, ADSL base speed (384 kb/s down,96 kb/s up) is 29.95/month.

    mid speed (784 kb/s down, 384 kb/s up) is $39.95/month+isp costs

    max speed (1.5 meg/s down, 784 kb/s up) is $150+isp costs

    I could imagine where the localtelco will just go with a little math on this and screw people over:

    VDSL (not sure on the math here):
    7.5 megs/sec?
    i would guess about $800/month

    pure speculation, you may check my numbers but dont harass me about them if theyre wrong, dont show this to the phone companies.
  • Out in Phoenix, Arizona, USWest is currently supporting VDSL, we can get 150Channel Digital CableTV, Multiple lines of phone services, and up to 1.2Mbps Internet service, all on one pair of copper, up to 10,000ft from the c.o. The cable is great, and we haven't noticed any difference in the phone quality, but the internet only takes about a second for any page, whereas before, it would take up to a minute.
  • I can promise you this: In Sweden, a 512 kbit/s line is at $2500+/month ... ADSL has been beta tested for about two years now, and still isn't released for the general public. And when it's released. It's gonna cost $50/month + 25 cents for each downloaded megabyte. And for those of you who thinks that Sweden has good infrastructure, that's true, but they aren't using it though. And when they do they charge insane amounts of money for it. Welcome to reality, we dont even have flat rate here. And they still thinks it's cheaper that way.
  • Unfortunately all this means I will have to abandon my current ISP, Demon Internet, who seems to have fantastic international bandwidth, fixed IPs, SMTP mail delivery, etc. Ideal for a tech like me. Cable will probably put me behind some poxy firewall I don't want to "protect me from hackers" and give me a dynamic IP. In actuality the firewall will be to prevent me from setting up a web server, etc.

    That's exactly the same situation with NTL. I'm currently with Demon too (for the same reasons :) but with NTL's catv modem service (why the hell is it called a modem anyway?) they want you to switch to their crappy ISP (dynamic ip, pop3, probably firewalled to hell).. arrghh!!

    Anyone here work for Telewest to open up a few holes in the firewall pointing to my fixed IP?

    Which fixed IP address? Your Demon one? Hmm, aren't you abandoning Demon to go to TeleWest?? :)

This screen intentionally left blank.