Copper vectoring is the name of the upgrade game
German telecom outfit Deutsche Telekom has been given permission to expand its copper network using vectoring, or VDSL2.
Vectoring uses noise cancellation technology to kill off electromagnetic interference between lines in so-called distribution boxes. It is designed to speed up broadband access over traditional copper wires.
While there is little problem with the technology, so far does not do very well when an area has watchdogs dedicated to local loop unbundling. To make it work the technology can only be installed by one operator. After that the new infrastructure can be used by all operators.
The German federal network agency gave its blessing to Deutsche Telekom to use vector but said the company would have to give its competitors access to the new technology unless alternative networks were available.
Germany is trying to work out how to roll out a fibre optic network and the $104 billion price tag is being shared between the competing companies.
Deutsche Telekom wants to upgrade its copper network via vectoring, or VDSL2 as it waits for the fibre to arrive. It will enable it to offer Internet speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, up from current levels of 16 Mbit/s.
In Germany cable companies offer 50 Mbit/s Internet for the same price or less than Deutsche Telekom's current speeds, and can already supply up to 150 Mbit/s.
According to Reuters, Deutsche Telekom owns about 330,000 such boxes in Germany, while its rivals have connected to about 8,200 of these boxes with their own lines.