Lighting up copper wire

DEMO ‘07 as usual gave venture capitalists, large high-tech companies on the prowl for the next big thing to buy, and the general public, a closer look at dozens of new technologies, some memorable, some that will be hard to remember just a few short weeks after the conference is over.

Global Communications, a company that claims nothing less than the ability to digitize light into six-foot diameter signals to deliver broadcast-quality content, will most likely fall into the former rather than the latter category. The company offers two different pieces of patented technology, VUTP Light and VUTP (Video over Untwisted Pair).

VUTP Light sits inside a black box that plugs into a fibre optic deployment that can wirelessly transmit from 120Mb to a terabit of data from point to multi-point, just like Wi-Fi. But this technology is obviously on steroids.

J. Johnson, chairman of Global Communications differentiates VUTP Light from laser by saying that VUTP is the “pure digitization of light.”

“A laser has a 3-inch diameter. We run six feet in diameter,” says Johnson.

Not only is it wide, according to Johnson, it also travels well — eight to 20 kilometres without degradation.

Using a megahertz frequency in the unlicensed spectrum, it can retransmit broadcast-quality television signals in real time, both standard and HDTV, either wirelessly using VUTP Light or over ordinary copper telephone wire using Global Communications’ second product simply dubbed VUTP.

One of the problems that the Global technology overcomes, says Johnson, is that current technology, such as Wi-Fi, cable, or even satellite, all use a serial port at the back of each piece of electronic equipment on the network.

“The serial port can’t scale,” Johnson said, and because it doesn’t use serial technology, VUTP can quickly scale to nationwide use.

Access points do not require towers; they can be installed on sides of building.

If Global Communications’ technology works as advertised, it could be the answer to the last mile issue that has dogged broadband access to the home and businesses for years.

However, there is one remaining hurdle that has little to do with technology and everything to do with why Global Communications has come to DEMO: it must have the kind of funding that will get it noticed and, over time, deployed in enough geographies to become a true competitor to the likes of Verizon, Comcast, ATT, Cox, and Times Warner.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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