BT connects first users in Gosforth and will test technology over a 9 month period with a view to nationwide rollout
BT’s trial of G.Fast technology in the Gosforth area of Newcastle has gone live, with the first customers connected to speeds of up to 330Mbps last week.
The G.Fast standard uses existing copper cables to maintain speeds of up to 1Gbps as far as 400 metres from the cabinet, making it a far more cost effective technology to boost speeds than Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).
The trial is one of three pencilled in for the UK, alongside Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire and Swansea and will help BT determine the performance of the technology and usage demands from customers over the next nine months.
G.Fast in Gosforth
Up to 2,000 homes and businesses will be covered as part of the Gosforth pilot, and if successful, plans to start deploying G.Fast next year, with a view to delivering ‘ultrafast’ broadband to ten million homes. Most ultrafast-enabled properties, should have access to 300Mbps to 500Mbps by 2032, with 1Gbps possible if the building has access to FTTP.
“We are determined to continue to improve the UK’s leading position on broadband,” said Joe Garner, Openreach CEO. “That’s why we are very excited to have begun the second G.Fast trial which is another step in building Britain’s connected future.”
The timing of the announcement coincides with the publication of BT’s response to Ofcom’s once-in-a-decade review of the UK communications market. BT’s competitors have called for Openreach to be made a fully independent company, claiming the current structure favours BT, stifles investment and results in a poorer service for customers.
BT has said there is no reason for split and claims the current model is working, pointing to recent coverage and speed upgrades as evidence. It believes the calls for separation are motivated by “self-interest” from rivals and wants the Pay-TV sector to be investigated instead.
What do you know about fibre broadband? Try our quiz!