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Copper Beats Fiber In Last-Mile Application

Extreme Copper, a supplier of advanced copper technology, and Air Cover Network Solutions, a wireless broadband supplier, have merged technologies to provide increased broadband speeds to homes and businesses over existing copper lines. The companies believe their pooled technology will eliminate the need to install fiber to deliver greater broadband speeds.

"The beauty of this is you don't need fiber to get the big bandwidth," CEO Angus Dougherty of Air Cover said Friday. "And we can do this anywhere. Now we can go from 356 kbps all the way up to 12 Mbps of symmetrical (DSL) per subscriber." Dougherty said Air Cover is already using the Extreme Copper technology to deliver broadband to 16 subscribers in a small grouping of users in Colorado.

The companies have incorporated Extreme Copper's hardened VDSL (video grade) technology into Air Cover's microwave grade distribution loop, enabling transmission of DSL services over existing two wire paired copper lines. Transmission through the terminal nodes can reach 52 Mbps, Dougherty said, adding that Air Cover can use the breakthrough to beef-up the capacity it delivers to its subscribers. Air Cover utilizes microwave to deliver DSL broadband to subscribers in a few suburban Denver communities.

Dougherty touts the combined Extreme Copper-Air Cover method, saying it is impressive when compared with existing broadband approaches. He notes that existing ADSL and T1 services typically deliver 8 Mbps on the down and less then 1 Mbps on the uplink and cost individual subscribers up to several hundred dollars a month. Cable providers usually can't provide speeds over 3 Mbps on the downlink and 250 Kbps except in rare instances.

Using the Extreme Copper solution, Air Cover can, for instance, deliver a feature movie at 6 Mbps in a few minutes. Dougherty says Air Cover plans to charge additional fees when the extra high speed service is used on top of regular subscriber rates.

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