New cable technology could give you fiber Internet performance over existing lines

bell labs 10 gigabit cable internet coax
Colin / Wikimedia Commons
It’s generally agreed that optical fiber is the most effective way to transmit an internet connection — but the costs of setting up this infrastructure are often prohibitive. Now, Nokia’s Bell Labs may have found a way to allow cheaper coaxial cable to take some of the strain.

This week, the company demonstrated a new prototype technology called XG-CABLE. Federico Guillén, Nokia’s president of fixed networks, described the breakthrough as an “important achievement that will define the future capabilities and ultra-broadband services cable providers are able to deliver.”

Nokia’s Bell Labs has demonstrated that the technology that is able to deliver symmetric data speeds of 10 Gbps in point-to-point tests. Point-to-multi-point tests saw XG-CABLE deliver around 8 Gbps down and 7.5 Gbps up.

To the user, this means that services we use on a daily basis could be better served by our internet connections. Things like online gaming, HD video uploads, and some VR and AR experiences require strong upload capabilities as well as brisk downloads, so a healthy symmetric data speed is only going to become more vital in coming years.

This technology isn’t intended to replace fiber outright. The speeds achieved in these tests are only possible over relatively short distances, so it would only be used to connect individual households with the street-level network. However, this should still prove to be a major benefit — that’s generally the most expensive part of the process, so switching out fiber for XG-CABLE could well make robust internet speeds accessible to far more homes.

XG-CABLE is still being referred to by Nokia as a proof-of-concept, and is obviously still a way off practical implementation. Still, the project looks set to be a potent tool in the struggle to improve internet infrastructure without costs becoming prohibitive.

Mobile

Mozilla rolls out Firefox for iPad with split screen support

Mozilla released a version of Firefox that is specifically designed for Apple's iPad. The internet browser comes with several unique features for the tablet, including split screen support and unique tab management.
Cars

Tesla Model 3 vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; hackers take home the car

A Tesla Model 3 vulnerability was exposed at the Pwn2Own hacking competition. The hackers, who were able to display a message on the electric vehicle's internet browser, won $35,000 and took home the car.
Computing

T-Mobile goes after big cable companies, pilots wireless home internet service

In a shot at big cable companies, T-Mobile is launching a new pilot program to bring an unlimited wireless LTE home internet service to up to 50,000 homes across the United States by the end of 2019.
Computing

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.
Computing

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Computing

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Computing

Microsoft’s Clippy came back from the dead, but didn’t last very long

Before Cortana, Alexa, and Siri even existed, Microsoft Clippy dominated the screens of computers in the 1990s to help assist Microsoft Office users when writing letters. He recently made a bit of a comeback only to die off again.
Computing

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Deals

Time to do taxes? Save up to 50 percent on H&R Block tax software this weekend

Tax season is stressful, and with new tax laws in effect this year, it's not a bad idea to get some help. H&R Block has you covered: For two days only, you can save 50 percent on its great software so you can file your taxes online and save…
Computing

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Computing

The new iMacs push on iMac Pro territory, but how much power do you really need?

With Apple refreshing the higher-end iMacs with newer processors and graphics cards, it moves closer to the iMac Pro. In this guide, we consider the performance, features, and help make sense of the differences between the two.