Summary:

If you have not heard of Charles Industries, don’t worry, you are not alone. It is a privately held company that sells telecom equipment by boatloads from its headquarters in Illinois, hardly a bastion of technological excellence. (Though we must not forget the super computing efforts […]

If you have not heard of Charles Industries, don’t worry, you are not alone. It is a privately held company that sells telecom equipment by boatloads from its headquarters in Illinois, hardly a bastion of technological excellence. (Though we must not forget the super computing efforts of various universities in the state, and of course the Mosaic browser!) The company recently introduced some new DSL gear that makes it possible to offer broadband service at distance of 85,000 feet from the telco’s central office. The company’s tests show that this reach can be boosted to about 100,000 feet. This DSL loop extension technology enables carriers to expand their DSL serving areas cheaply. Charles Industries is not the only one trying to do this, and other vendors are trying to do precisely the same. ADTRAN, AFC, Critical Telecom, ECI, Lucent, Nokia, Occam, Pannaway, Paradyne, Pedestal, Zhone, and others that are also targeting the IOC market with similar RT/DSL loop extension solutions, says research firm, Current Analysis.

ADTRAN has its remote DSLAM solution, the 1124 platform; Zhone has its new Raptor outside plant (OSP) DSLAMs; Critical Telecom and Pedestal Networks have similar DSL loop extension solutions. Critical’s FRED systems support full- rate ADSL over loops up to 82,000 feet. Another lesser known company, GoDigital has its XCel 4-a platform, which also enables carriers to deliver ADSL/SHDSL services up to 100 Kft from the telco CO. With these developments, one can expect DSL to make inroads in the previously unserviceable areas. I think this is a negative for the cable guys who have had the remote location market to themselves for a while. Any thoughts on how far, DSL technology can be extended in terms of sheer distance? [Additional reading: Bridging the digital divide]

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By Om Malik

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