BT’s wholesale infrastructure arm Openreach has chosen China’s Huawei and Finland’s Nokia to provide a range of equipment to support its rollout of G.fast high speed fixed broadband access across the UK, BT announced in a press release. The two vendors have been working with Openreach on the ‘world’s largest trials’ of G.fast in Huntingdon, Gosforth and Swansea, and will provide cutting edge switches, modems and cabinet ‘side pods’ to help deliver download speeds of up to 330Mbps – more than 20 times the current UK average – to ten million homes and businesses by the end of 2020, the press release continues. G.fast will also be deployed in Gillingham and Cherry Hinton later this year, whilst a wider rollout will form part of Openreach’s wider ambition of expanding 100Mbps-plus broadband to twelve million premises by 2020, and the majority of the UK by the end of 2025.
Clive Selley, Openreach CEO, said: ‘Openreach is pioneering G.fast technology because we want to get affordable ultrafast speeds to as many people as possible in the fastest possible time … We’ll be going flat out to reach twelve million homes by 2020.’ Openreach has promised to offer wholesale access to G.fast connections – utilising existing copper lines for homes/businesses rather than costly fibre all the way into end-users’ premises – under unaltered terms, conditions and pricing to its 100-plus wholesale communications provider clients.
Jeff Wang, president of Huawei Access network, said: ‘Huawei’s investment and innovation in G.fast will help Openreach to deploy ultrafast broadband from the street cabinet instead of the distribution point, making the business case viable for a large scale rollout and accelerating the rollout speed.’ Cormac Whelan, CEO of Nokia UK and Ireland, added: ‘We know that G.fast is the key to quickly rolling out ultrafast broadband.’