BT claims 1Gb fibre broadband speed boost

Journey

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BT is claiming to have made a "big breakthrough" with fibre broadband, which could see homes and businesses see speeds rise to 1Gbps (gigabit per second).

A trial of so-called G-Fast technology has managed download speeds of 800Mbps (megabits) and upload speeds of 200Mbps.

The trial is significant because it utilises existing technology.

BT has been criticised for its continued use of copper lines.

So-called Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC), which uses a combination of fibre and copper lines, is BT's preferred technology for broadband rollout.

It is significantly slower than Fibre to the Premises technology (FTTP) but is much cheaper to deploy.

FTTC also gets slower over distance because it relies on copper for the last part of the connection.

It means homes that are further away from BT's green street cabinets will have slower speeds.

BT claims that the new technology can achieve good speeds over longer lines of 66m (216ft), which it said encompasses 80% of connections.

G-Fast technology has been tested at BT's research laboratory at Adastral Park in Ipswich. It is due to open a new ultrafast broadband lab where it will continue to test its potential.

BT said it could go into commercial use as early as December 2015. It would be available for BT and any other internet service providers that use the BT network.

The new technology could also be useful to businesses which currently rely on dedicated lines that run on ethernet.

"We see G-Fast as a very promising technology with significant potential," said Dr Tim Whitley, managing director of research at BT.

"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."

Rival Virgin Media is also experimenting with new ways to boost speed - including a trial in a Cambridgeshire village, using narrow-trenching.

The method means engineers can lay the cable faster and the trial to 100 houses in the area achieved 1Gb speeds.

Need for speed

Ovum analyst Matthew Howett thinks the technology could be beneficial to both consumers and businesses.

"Given the huge costs involved in a full fibre solution, and the challenging economic environment, it's important to make the most of, and extend the life of technologies already deployed - in the most cost effective way," he said.

"This should result in quicker wins for consumers and businesses at a favourable price."

The debate about how much speed consumers and businesses need has grown louder in recent months.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FS:cool: recently said that the government's target to have superfast speeds of at least 24Mbps in 90% of homes by 2017 lacked ambition and needed a rethink.

It called for a minimum of 100Mbps by 2030.

Labour has also jumped on the speed bandwagon and pledged to increase broadband speeds if it wins the next election.

Story from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29360758
 
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Lazarus

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Nice.

That's 1300 times faster than mine.
 

timo_w2s

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It doesn't seem that long ago when I thought a 10Mb home network was good enough, but slowly upgraded to 100Mb over the years.

I've just switched suppliers and downgraded my fibre (FTTP) connection from 100Mb to 50Mb, saving me 30 euro a month (now paying 9 euro/month!). Can't say I've noticed a difference. Anything above 20Mb is more than enough for my needs so with today's usage I can't see much need for 1Gb but then I also didn't see a need for 100Mb back in the 90s...

Maybe when UHD becomes standard for video I'll change my mind.
 

Captain Jack

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I really do wish BT concentrated a bit more on rolling out half decent broadband to rural areas, like the woods of Somerset! Not everyone lives in the cities....
 

Lazarus

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Agreed, CJ.

I'm making enquiries about our 25Mbps Microwave-linked Community scheme as costs appear to be coming down. Nine of eighteen village properties are on it now.

But, to balance the Budget, I need to persuade SWMBO we can do without the Landline.
 

Channel Hopper

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I really do wish BT concentrated a bit more on rolling out half decent broadband to rural areas, like the woods of Somerset! Not everyone lives in the cities....

Do hedgehogs need faster broadband ?
 

Captain Jack

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In this day and age everyone needs it.
 

2cvbloke

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But, to balance the Budget, I need to persuade SWMBO we can do without the Landline.

Get a VOIP account with an ATA, then you can hook up real telephones to t'internet to make real phonecalls, even if they sound poo most of the time owing to digital audio compression... :lol:
 
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