Experiments at Bell Labs show 300Mbps possible over conventional copper twisted-pair DSL
The range is short -- only a few hundred meters -- but the same technology, according to Alcatel-Lucent, is capable of 100Mbps over a 1,000 meter (3,820ft) stretch.
It's early days yet, and DSLReports speculates that the product is at least two years away in real-world terms, but it's definitely proof that the humble, ageing pair of copper wires that extend into billions of homes around the world has some life left!
The other main consideration, for the corporate world at least, is that with improved DSL technology, the laying of cable might not be the most cost-effective solution -- though in the long long term, I doubt few would argue that the future of data transfer must be along optical cables.
For the nerds: the new technology, dubbed 'DSL Phantom Mode', uses a second, supplementary pair of wires over the usual DSL offering. With such massive speeds there's a lot of crosstalk (interference) between the wires -- the third channel is likely used for vectoring as error correction.