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 Friday, September 28, 2012

ITU-T Study Group 15 – Transport and Access – has modified its standards on narrowband powerline communications (NB-PLC) following requests from administrations and utilities to accelerate deployments of Smart Grid. The group also advanced its “G.fast” project which promises to enable fibre-optic data speeds over “last-mile” copper connections from fibre termination points to customers’ homes.

Meeting at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 10-21 September, SG 15 hosted 370 delegates from 38 countries and received 439 contributions to its work on access network transport, optical technology and optical transport systems.

The meeting agreed the repackaging of Recommendations ITU-T G.9955 and G.9956, on NB-PLC, into four Recommendations, a move designed to increase the clarity of this important family of standards and thereby stimulate industry adoption. G.9955 and G.9956, detailed in an ITU press release here, will enable cost-effective smart grid applications such as distribution automation, diagnostic and fault location, smart metering, demand response, energy management, smart appliances, grid-to-home communications and advanced recharging systems for electric vehicles. Standardizing next-generation NB-PLC transceivers, the Recommendations are optimized for the various topologies and characteristics of power grids around the world, and will provide a 'smart' link between electricity and communications networks through their support of the use of power lines as a communications medium.

“G.fast for FTTdp (Fibre-to-the-Distribution Point)” is the working title of a project seeking to combine the high-bit rates of FTTH (Fibre-to-the-Home) and the customer self-installation ease of ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line). The G.fast project will offer a broadband access solution taking fibre to a distribution point very near a customer’s home, leaving a maximum of 250 metres of copper for the “last-mile” connection to a transceiver in a customer’s home. Many of the copper loop lengths are expected to be short enough to support aggregate bitrates exceeding 500 Mb/s on a single pair; enabling the provision of next-generation IPTV services as well as super-fast broadband access for small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs). SG 15’s September meeting addressed 37 contributions to the G.fast project which is on course to meeting its target of consent by July 2013 and approval as an ITU-T Recommendation by March 2014.

For more on the work of ITU-T Study Group 15, please see the group’s webpage here…

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