DSL Phantom Mode: na Jar Jar Binks

Alcatel-Lucent has come up with a way of increasing the capacity of DSL on copper wires to 300 Mbps.

Oh, yeah, baby. Alcatel-Lucent says that its research group, the venerable Bell Labs, has demonstrated a test of “DSL Phantom Mode.” The result was downstream transmission speeds of 300 Megabits per second (Mbps) over distances up to 400 meters (or 100Mbps at 1km). At these speeds, service providers will be able to maximize the ability of the existing copper infrastructure – widely deployed around the world – to satisfy demand for bandwidth-intense residential triple-play and business services, for years to come.

DSL Phantom Mode involves the creation of a virtual or “phantom” channel that supplements the two physical wires that are the standard configuration for copper transmission lines. The source of DSL Phantom Mode’s dramatic increase in transmission capacity lies the methods by which it eliminates interference or “crosstalk” between copper wires, and bonding that makes it possible to take individual lines and aggregate them.

Allowing existing copper lines to work at 300 Mbps is going to open up a great deal of new opportunities for traditional DSL service providers who are having to contend with the likes of Verizon’s FiOS, fiber optic services into the home. So, maybe there is a bandwidth war a brewin’ and we’re all going to win. I get 20 Mbps on FiOS at my home, but maybe I need 100 Mbps. Will it be enough? Will it be enough?