British fixed line incumbent BT and Chinese vendor Huawei are to conduct a fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FTTdp) G.fast technical field trial, the latter has announced. For the trial, which will take place close to the BT Adastral Park research and development centre in Ipswich, UK, multi-port G.fast equipment has been installed in underground distribution points. Dr Tim Whitley, BT’s managing director for research and innovation said of the pilot plans: ‘The G.fast trial has the potential to demonstrate how ultrafast bandwidth access may be more efficiently delivered to consumers and businesses. We will be observing the results of the trial with interest to see whether G.fast technology could play a role in ensuring BT has the best network in the short, medium and long term.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in July 2013 G.fast, a new fixed broadband technology standard which utilises existing copper last mile connections to deliver download speeds of up to 1Gbps, received first-stage approval at a meeting of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Study Group 15. According to a press release from the ITU at that date, Recommendation ITU-T G.9700 specified methods to minimise the risk of G.fast equipment interfering with broadcast services such as FM radio, paving the way for the fixed broadband technology to be approved ‘in early 2014.’ G.fast is designed to deliver superfast speeds on copper last mile distances of up to 250 metres, thereby eliminating the expense of installing fibre between the copper distribution point and the user’s premises, while enabling self-installation by consumers without a technician’s assistance. The G.fast standard is being coordinated with the Broadband Forum’s FTTdp system architecture project; the ITU’s Telecommunication Standardisation Sector (ITU-T) and the Broadband Forum have been working closely to ensure that G.fast solutions can be quickly placed into FTTdp deployments.