IEEE 802.3bz: New Ethernet Standard Brings 5X the speed without disruptive cable changes

The IEEE has released a standard for the copper wire cables, 802.3bz. The new standard 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T Ethernet. The NBASE-T Alliance released a specification in November 2014 that’s compatible with the 802.3bz standard.

The Ethernet Alliance wrote that the IEEE 802.3bz Standard for Ethernet Amendment sets Media Access Control Parameters, Physical Layers and Management Parameters for 2.5G and 5Gbps Operation lets access layer bandwidth evolve incrementally beyond 1Gbps, it will help address emerging needs in a variety of settings and applications, including enterprise, wireless networks.

The wireless component may be the most significant implication of the standard as 2.5G and 5G Ethernet will allow connectivity to 802.11ac Wave 2 Access Points, considered by many to be the real driving force behind bringing up the speed of traditional NBase-T products.

Up until now, our wired networks have been confined to 1Gbps speed cap as per the widely implemented 1000BASE-T (IEEE 802.3ab). Now, the theoretical speeds are going to make a significant leap.

The 802.3bz standard has boosted the speeds to 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps up to 100m length on the same Cat5e and Cat6 copper wires currently used. The perks are only in case of the wires. Large organizations having thousands of meters of copper cabling inside their offices could take a breath of relief because they won’t have to reinstall them. Although, device hardware will have to be upgraded to support the new IEEE 802.3bz standard.

“Going beyond 1 Gb/s with existing Cat5e and Cat6 cables was little more than a talking point two years ago. But now with NBASE-T, we have the ability to extend the life of an enormous asset —your wired network. The Cat5e and Cat6 installed in just the last 15 years now exceeds an estimated 70 billion meters of cabling, which is more than 10 trips to Pluto,” said Sachin Gupta who is the VP of Product Management at IEEE.

We have already achieved 10Gbps theoretical bandwidth but its high equipment cost is a downside and contributes to its low adoption rate. The new 802.3bz standard might come up with cost effective network products which can benefit both home and office users.

It won’t improve the speed of your internet as it depends on the speed provided by your ISP (PLDT, Globe, Smart) which currently maxes out at 1Gbps. Maybe in future ISPs offer higher speeds. You will see the effect during multiplayer gaming session and file sharing over your home network. The 802.3bz standard has been approved recently but many compatible products are already available in the market.

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About Jaime Lacson

A Freelance Computer Tech with knowledge about computer, router and mobile phones, especially in Upgrade and Downgrade OS, Software and Hardware troubleshooting. follow me at Google+
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