Broadband users across the UK could soon have access to much faster connections, with telecoms firm BT saying that it has made a major breakthrough in the development of its fibre service.
The company claims to have successfully tested download speeds of 800Mbps and upload speeds of 200Mbps using its G-Fast technology, and that customers may well be able to enjoy similar performance levels from their own connections in the near future.
While it has received criticism for doing so, BT relies on Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology, which uses a mix of copper and fibre lines. This makes the breakthrough particularly significant, as the speeds have been achieved using existing hardware.
Traditionally FTTC is much slower than Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology, although it is considerably cheaper. Distance is also a problem with FTTC rollouts, with speeds decreasing for homes further away from BT’s own connection centres.
A switch in time
BT’s move comes as the debate over internet speeds starts to intensify. While the government aims to ensure that nine out of ten homes in the UK have access to broadband speeds of at least 24Mbps in the next three years, its plans have been criticised. The Federation of Small Businesses, for example, recently claimed that the target “lacks ambition” and should be rethought.
Meanwhile, speculation abounds in some areas with a high concentration of businesses, such as London’s Square Mile, that BT has been slow to enable fast fibre services for fear of losing a lucrative revenue stream in expensive Ethernet alternatives.
Dr Tim Whitely, BT’s director of research, thinks the development is crucial to the future of broadband in the UK. He was quoted bytelegraph.co.uk as saying: “We see G-Fast as a very promising technology with significant potential.
Whitely added: “BT has a long history of pushing the boundaries in telecommunications, from the earliest days of the electric telegraph to today’s global fibre networks, and it’s crucial that we stay ahead of the curve for the benefit of our customers and shareholders.”
If you want to discuss the connectivity options available to you via your own local exchange please do not hesitate to call our team on 08442 471 144.