BT Testing 1Gbps Broadband Speed

September 28, 2014 11:21 AM

At Adastral Park in Ipswich, BT’s new research labs are set to trial “ultra-fast” broadband that could reach speeds of one Gigabit per second (equivalent to 1000 Megabits per second). If achieved, it would represent a significant upgrade on the current fastest internet available for personal use, which in the UK, is supplied by Virgin Media at speed of 152Mbps.

BT are attempting to achieve their results using G.Fast, a new standard approved by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union). BT initial trials for G.Fast have been promising with downstream speeds of around 800Mbps attained over a 19m length of copper, combined with upstream speeds of more than 200Mbps. “Impressive speeds of around 700/200Mbps were also achieved over longer lines of 66m, a distance that encompasses around 80 per cent of such connections.”

BT-adastral-park

Adastral Park, Ipswich. Home to BT research labs.

BT currently employs a two different broadband technologies to supply internet access to their 20 million Openreach customers. The first is FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet), which is the more common of the two and is a combination of fibre and copper lines. FTTC is recognisable in the UK as the green cabinets on the streets. FTTC also is slower over a distance because it relies on copper for the last part of the connection. The second technology is FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), which is faster than FTTC and is also considerably more expensive. It operates, as the name suggests, by running fibre all the way to the premises.

FTTdp (Fibre To The Distribution Point) “G.Fast” technology has great potential, due to the fact that it operates with the fibre closer to the premises than with FTTC technology, meaning the copper link is much shorter.

“FTTdp is potentially a more cost effective and simpler solution than both FTTP and dedicated business lines such as Ethernet. This is because less fibre and civil engineering is required. It also has the potential to be less disruptive for the customer given it is likely it could be a “self-install” product with no need for home engineering visits.” As outlined in the BT press release.

BT’s research has come after recent news that rival, Virgin Media, are planning to trial their 1Gbps broadband in homes in Cambridgeshire. Broadband speeds in the US are also set for an upgrade with Google Fibre slowly being installed in cities across the country, also at 1Gbps.

BT has said G.Fast could go into commercial use as early as December 2015 and it would be available for BT and any other internet service providers that use the BT network.

Find more information at BT press release here.

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