An Australian PhD student by the name of John Papandriopoulos seems to have solved the issue of telephone copper wire being unsuitable for data communications by applying some very clever maths. He figured out that the biggest problem with telephone copper wire is the fact that you get cross talk on the lines, something which was common for voice calls back in the days before digital telephone exchanges.
His solution to the problem took over a year to complete and it is meant to reduce or even remove the crosstalk that you get on the copper wire which is shared with everyone else that connects to the same telephone exchange. This is meant to be able to boost xDSL speeds up towards 250Mbps, compared to the theoretical top speed today of about 24Mbps.
Patent applications have been filed in the US and Australia and hopefully it won't take too long for this technology to make it onto the market. Dr John Papandriopoulos also received an award for his research in the form of the Chancellor's Prize for Excellence in the PhD from the University of Melbourne.
You can find some more information here