The new G.fast broadband technology, recently approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), can deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps over existing copper infrastructure between premises and fibre-equipped street cabinets.
The service is not as fast as the already available Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP), but is significantly cheaper to install and should offer speeds of 500 to 1000Mbos of distances up to 100m, falling to 200Mbsp at 200m and 150Mbps at 250m.
In a statement, the ITU said,
“G.fast will increase the feasibility of implementing bandwidth-intensive services such as Ultra-HD ‘4K’ or ‘8K’ streaming and next-generation IPTV, advanced cloud-based storage, and communication via HD video. The standard will comfortably serve the broadband access needs of small-to-medium enterprises, with other envisioned applications including backhaul for small wireless cell sites and Wi-Fi hotspots.”
BT has announced that it plans to increase the speed of it’s fibre network using the technology. Although 80% of connections, in the UK, will be less than 66m from distribution points, due to interference one can expect practical speeds of 500 to 600Mbps at 100m.
The firm will begin piloting G.fast in two areas this year, if successful BT’s rollout will be one of the first commercial deployments of the technology since it was signed off by ITU. The pilot scheme will be launched in 4,000 premises in Huntington, Cambridge and Gosforth, with an aim for a full commercial deployment over 2016 and 2017.
“BT expects to offer initial speeds of a few hundred megabits per second to millions of homes and businesses by 2020. Speeds will then increase to around 500Mbps as further industry standards are secured and new kit is developed”.
It also stated that they expect to reach “most of the country” with services offering 500Mbps by within the next 5 years and will be looking to develop a 1Gbps premium service.