Broadband chip maker, Ikanos, recently introduced a new DSL technology that allows for connections at 100+Mbps. They claim that rolling out this tech would cost 1/10 of the equivalent in fiber.
There are other vendors who have demonstrated or claimed even more astounding speeds over DSL 300, 700 and 800+ Mbps. But what’s important are the short distances over which those speeds can actually be achieved, and not the easily 10,000+ft that your home may be from a central office.
As much as this is encouraging, I just don’t think copper has that much longer to live unless an effective repeating technology is invented. Plus I’m wary of random telco techs swinging by, popping open an unsecured distribution box and splitting cable willy-nilly to hook up a new installation of phone/DSL. I should know, because this happened to me, and I saw not only my speeds cut in half but my service become very sketchy.
Telcos – Invest in the fiber and build it for the next foreseeable 10-15 years – it’ll be worth it instead of trying to continually maintain the twisted pair spaghetti you currently have.