Gfast: Ultrafast Broadband Without the Sawdust

More and more, apartment dwellers expect ultrafast broadband. Yet multi-dwelling unit (MDU) building owners rightfully reject the offer to install fiber to the home (FTTH) because it’s messy, disruptive and can be a costly ultrafast option for tenants. But there’s a way to get to ultrafast broadband without all the sawdust and disruption: Gfast.

There are a handful of broadband options available, but most are not suitable or feasible for apartment buildings. MDUs present wiring and access challenges that can be difficult to overcome. For example, all the owners of an apartment building need to agree on which broadband technology should be installed, cover the associated costs, and permit the digging of trenches.

Enter Gfast

Gfast (pronounced gee-fast) is an ultra-high-speed broadband technology that’s taking off and delivers all the benefits of ultrafast broadband without the hassle of fiber installation. Gfast delivers broadband access at up to 1.5Gbps – nearly 100x higher than what most consumers have access to today – over traditional copper wires or coax that are already in most apartment buildings. It achieves this speed by bringing fiber to the building and connecting to the existing infrastructure with a Gfast unit inside or next to the building. In addition, the solution combines upstream and downstream performance and dynamically allocates the bandwidth in each direction, in real time. This enables high-bandwidth uploading activities, such as uploading Facebook Live videos or backing up hard drives to the cloud and high-speed download applications such as streaming Netflix 4K video content.

Benefits of Gfast

Additional benefits of Gfast:

  • Low-cost deployment – Tenants can self-install new equipment without an expensive and disruptive in-home professional installation like those required of most internet service providers (ISPs). Residents can easily plug the equipment into their existing phone lines.
  • Highly reliable – Compared to existing copper technology like DSL, Gfast not only runs much faster, but is also far more reliable. Its set up eliminates most service disruptions that have occurred with DSL technology, which, in the past often leaves tenants frustrated and causes them to complain about the service to landlords.
  • Energy efficient and green – Gfast keeps the power consumption as low as possible, only consuming power when sending or receiving data. In comparison, DSL systems consume power 24/7/365.
  • Few regulatory issues –  Gfast avoids potential regulatory issues regarding where the demarcation exists between the service provider and the property owner, as occurs with broadband fiber installations.

AT&T is rolling out this service in 22 areas of the country and CenturyLink and Windstream are also rolling out deployments of Gfast in 2018. This is good news for landlords who want to offer ultrafast broadband access to tenants without incurring high costs and creating access issues.