BT has claimed that it could be able to deliver ultrafast broadband speeds of up to 1Gb per second through a mix of fibre and copper cabling, following successful trials of technology that's been called 'G.FAST'.

It represents a breakthrough for the broadband provider, which had thought a dedicated business line or a fibre optic cable direct from a telephone exchange to the home would be required to ensure such speeds.

However, this new technology sees fibre rolled out to telephone poles or junction boxes located near homes. And now BT is opening a new ultrafast broadband lab at its Ipswich R&D centre to find out more.

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During the G.FAST trials, BT achieved downstream speeds of around 800Mbps using a 19m length of copper, combined with upstream speeds of more than 200Mbps. 

Meanwhile, speeds of 700/200Mbps were achieved over longer copper lines of 66m, the distance that BT says covers around 80 per cent of connections. 

BT currently caters for over 20 million homes and businesses around the UK using both Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) and Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) technologies, the latter being the most common.

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More after the break

FTTC offers downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps, while FTTP is capable of much faster speeds. However, BT only delivers FTTP in "targeted areas" due the cost involved in the installation and infrastructure.

That's where this breakthrough could benefit consumers, as G.FAST technology is used to "maximise data capacity" over copper and offers "potentially a more cost effective and simpler solution" in future.

And what that means is that it'll become easier to stream music and video from services such as Spotify and Netflix, while also catering for new trends that consume more data – like 4K Ultra HD streaming, perhaps.

In the mean time, a BT offer will give new customers six months' free BT Infinity 1, which offers speeds up to 38Mbps and 20GB usage limit on 18-month contracts.

MORE: York to get ultra-fast 1GB broadband speeds in 2015



Big Aura's picture

Excellent news, I'm sure BT

Excellent news, I'm sure BT will be able to use this to deliver about 6.2mb speeds, but only at 4am!  

daveh75's picture

Sigh. I think you need to do

Sigh. I think you need to do a bit more research.

FTTdp and are not the same thing and shouldn't be used as interchangeable terms for one and other.

They're two different technologies that if combined would allow speeds 'upto' 1Gbps

petehayman's picture

Thanks for pointing that out

Thanks for pointing that out to me Dave. I must admit that BT's announcement referred to "Fibre To The Distribution Point (FTTdp) 'G.FAST' technology" in one breath, which I've taken incorrectly to be one and the same. 

Tooslow's picture

Taken in by marketing hype

"BT could soon offer". Quantify "soon". If this technology escapes from the lab then it could be five to ten years before it hits the streets and then how many years to roll out across the UK?  Surely reporting requires a degree of critical thinking, not  just swallowing the hook and regurgitating the press release without thought?



petehayman's picture

Hello John and it's a valid

Hello John and it's a valid point that you make. Having been one of (no doubt) many, many people to have suffered at the hands of stuttering broadband connections, I got too ahead of myself with the prospect of ultrafast speeds. However, with Sky and TalkTalk working on a new fibre-optic broadband network in York, hopefully we won't be waiting too long for such rapid broadband speeds? Here's hoping, at least...