G.fast broadband delivery technology is to be made available to up to 500,000 homes and businesses around the country after Openreach announced a major scale-up of its delivery programme.
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Openreach plans to make ultrafast broadband available to 12 million homes and businesses by 2020, and anticipates 10 million of these will be reached by G.fast, with the additional two million receiving the gold standard FTTP product. It currently has 100,000 users on ultrafast connections.
The network owner – currently in the process of being functionally separated from its parent, BT – made the announcement in Glasgow, where the Douglas and Bridgeton areas have just been named as the latest parts of the city to receive G.fast.
“It’s a real coup for the city [Glasgow] to be at the forefront of the roll-out of ultrafast broadband. Now we’ve identified this latest group of pilot locations, engineering work will begin to install the new network. It will take a few months before people are able to use it,” said Openreach director for infrastructure delivery in Scotland, Andrew Hepburn.
G.fast is a digital subscriber line (DSL) standard for sub-500m local loops that uses an expanded range of frequency to deliver broadband signals to users.
This means providers can offer more bandwidth on the line to deliver ultrafast speeds well in excess of 100Mbps, comparable to a full fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connection, without having to spend money on upgrading the copper last mile – hence its popularity at Openreach, which acts as the custodian for the UK’s old copper infrastructure and is determined to get maximum value from it.
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- Statistics produced by consumer rights advocacy group Which? seem to show that people who buy faster broadband services are being underserved.
- Average broadband speed in the UK lags behind 19 European countries, as well as most of North America and Asian economies such as Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore.
Peter Bell, director for network solutions and operations for Openreach, added: “The UK is ahead of its major European neighbours when it comes to broadband and we’re doing everything we can to anticipate and meet changing customer demands. The development of G.fast technology is a key part of moving the UK from superfast to ultrafast broadband speeds as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Besides Glasgow, the 26 new locations announced today are Armley, Bath Kingsmead, Bishops Stortford, Brierley Hill, Brighton and Hove, Chorlton, Eltham, Great Barr, Hammersmith, Hemel Hempstead, High Wycombe, Hunslet, Kidbrooke, Liverpool Central, Lofthouse Gate, Manchester East, Mansfield, Northern Birmingham, Parsons Green, Portsmouth North End, Pudsey, Rochdale, Wandsworth and Whitchurch South Glamorgan.