British fixed line incumbent BT has announced that in field trials it had been able to show that ‘ultrafast’ broadband – with combined downstream and upstream speeds of up to 1Gbps – can be delivered via a mix of fibre and copper. With the telco noting that it had previously been thought that such speeds would require a dedicated business line or a fibre-optic cable to be laid all the way from a telephone exchange to a building, BT said it had been ‘greatly encouraged by the potential of fibre-to-the-distribution point (FTTdp) ‘G.FAST’ technology’, which sees fibre rolled out to telephone poles or junction (footway) boxes located close to homes and businesses.
During BT’s G.FAST trials it said it had recorded downlink speeds of around 800Mbps and uplink of 200Mbps over a 19 metre length of copper, while over a longer line of 66 metres – a distance it claims encompasses around 80% of fixed line connections – it achieved down/up rates of 700Mbps/200Mbps.
With BT’s fibre-based network – which utilises both fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) and fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology – now passing more than 20 million premises, Joe Garner, CEO of the telco’s network arm Openreach said of the trials of the new technology: ‘Businesses obviously demand even greater bandwidth and can already access speeds of up to 10Gbps via dedicated business lines that we provide across the country. But customer needs will continue to change, and that’s why we’re deploying a mix of current technologies as well as testing new ones. We will continue to innovate so that we meet our customers’ needs today, and in the future.’