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By | Christopher Williams 25th October 2007 14:00

Aussie boffin turbo charges copper broadband

Who needs fibre?

An Aussie PhD student has developed an algorithm that he says can turbo charge an ordinary copper phone line to deliver downloads at 200Mbit/s.

John Papandriopoulos of the Universtity of Melbourne has patented maths he did for his thesis last year on "Dynamic Spectrum Management" (DSM). The algorithm aims to stomp crosstalk interference on DSL, a major reason why current "up to" 8Mbit/s ADSL usually splutters to between 3 and 4Mbit/s.

We'll let the good doctor do the explaining:

We formulate a (standard) model for how DSLs attain their data-rate, considering crosstalk interference effects. We exploit the fact that interference varies across the frequency spectrum, and that if we are clever about the way in which we allocate transmission power amongst the various frequency bands, we can manage the interference between (strongly) coupled lines. For example, one user that interferes strongly with others within a band may be "turned off" within that band to avoid damaging the other lines, consequently raising the overall network rate.

Papandriopoulos says the work could be applied to ADSL2+ broadband - the type BT is rolling out in its 21CN upgrade - to bring it closer to its theoretical maximum speed. Substantial kit changes would be needed to get the full benefit, however.

Melbourne University's technology spin out tentacle is aiming to flog the DSM work for commercialisation. Papandriopoulos' home page is here. ®

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