BroadbandNetworks

BT Openreach Makes ‘First’ 330Mbps G.Fast Broadband Connection In Kent

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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BT Openreach gets first official G.Fast broadband customer in Gillingham, Kent as trials continue

BT Openreach has connected the first commercial business customer to its G.Fast ultrafast broadband network, which is being trialled in a number of locations across the UK. 

Accountancy firm Temiz book-keeping Ltd is located in Gillingham, Kent, one of the trial locations for G.Fast, which will cover 140,000 properties by the end of March. Balham in South London and Upton Park have also been chosen, bringing G.Fast to the capital for the first time. 

The overwhelming majority of superfast broadband connections in the UK are fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), which uses copper for the final few hundred metres. G.Fast speeds up the copper cable to allow for theoretical speeds of up to 5Gbps. 

splayfoil road fibre cabinet

BT Openreach G.Fast 

In the real world, BT expects speeds of up to 330Mbps and will rollout G.Fast to ten million homes and businesses by the end of the decade alongside a separate fibre to the premise (FTTP) deployment covering two million. 

Overall, Openreach plans to deliver ultrafast speeds to the ‘majority of the UK’ by 2025. 

Temiz book-keeping is the first ‘proper’ customer and says the arrival of faster speeds will allow the business to expand and increase its use of cloud software. 

“All our client data is stored in the Cloud. Having ultrafast speeds means we can download and upload that data instantly – however many client accounts we are working on at the same time,” said Mehmet Uzum, who runs the family owned business. 

“Uploading heavy data files could take a couple of hours with the speeds we had before but now we can achieve the same in a matter of minutes – it is a big time saver. 

“We are in the process of building a website for the business which will allow clients to log into their own accounts and use the book keeping facilities. We are also looking to open another office in London to help us attract new clients in the City and take on another partner so that we can offer an auditing service. It is a new and exciting time for us and having ultrafast broadband provides the platform to do all this on. It has given us the confidence to go ahead and invest in the future of the business.” 

BT has long been a champion of G.Fast, believing it to be an effective upgrade for Openreach’s copper infrastructure despite the clamour form its rivals for the organisation to invest in FTTP. Openreach CEO Clive Selley reiterated BT’s belief that more people will benefit faster than just with FTTP alone. 

However BT was not the first to launch a commercial G.Fast service. That accolade belongs to Swisscom, which already has more than 1,000 customers in Switzerland enjoying speeds of up to 500Mbps.

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