Openreach, the infrastructure unit of British communications provider BT, has reportedly revealed that a full commercial launch of its G.fast-based services will take place on 1 April 2020. According to ISPreview, while the technology is already being offered by a number of ISPs via wholesale deals with Openreach, G.fast has technically remained in the ‘Early Market Deployment’ (‘EMD’) phase since first being introduced back in 2015, meaning the service itself has been subject to change.
According to the most recent information published by BT, the company’s G.fast network covered 2.725 million premises at the end of 2019, up from 1.708 million a year earlier. However, it remains unclear whether there will be any sizeable expansion of coverage moving forward, in part due to an increased focus on the deployment of fibre. Initially, Openreach had planned to deploy G.fast to around ten million premises by March 2021, but it scaled back its ambitions in August 2018, reducing the target to 5.70 million premises, before doing so again in September 2019, when it cut the coverage goal to 2.73 million premises by March 2020 and advised ISPs that it was holding off on giving any further guidance regarding future G.fast buildout plans.