Engineers working for Bell Labs, which is now owned by French telecoms equipment manufacturer Alcatel-Lucent, have set a new world record for data transmission on copper wires.

They managed to reached 10Gbps over 30m (around 100ft) by bonding or merging four copper lines (in effect, the actual speed per line was 2.5Gbps).

The team was also able to reach symmetrical speeds of 1Gbps (or 0.5Gbps per line) per over 70m which shows that performance degrades noticeably over distance.

Alcatel-Lucent used a technology called XG-FAST which is a proprietary improvement on the G.Fast extension, a new broadband standard from the ITU.

They used a much higher frequency (up to 500MHz) to reach those speeds compared to a mere 17MHz for VDSL2 which currently used for most super fast broadband services in the UK.

This new technology is likely to enable operators to roll out much faster real life broadband speeds over legacy copper infrastructure by bringing fiber to the cabinet rather than to the household.