U.K. telecom giant BT said it is delivering up to 330 Mbps in a trial of G.fast, an emerging standard that aims to bring gigabit capabilities to DSL networks.
BT said the trial in Huntingdon involves about 2,000 homes and businesses, and is being delivered by Openreach, a last mile access network (copper and fiber) that is “open to all communications providers on equal terms.”
BT said the current trial, being run with Adtran, Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei, will run for six to nine months.
If trials like the one underway in Huntingdon are successful and if U.K. regulation continues to encourage investment, Openreach hopes to start deploying G.fast in 2016/2017 alongside its fiber-to-the-cabinet and fiber-to-the-premises services, BT said.
Openreach is also working on a trial in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, that will involve another 2,000 homes and businesses, and “will consider widespread deployment from 2016.”
BT also believes that G.fast will enable it to make speeds of a few hundred megabits per second available to millions of homes by 2020, and deliver up to 500Mbps to most of the UK within a decade as the technology is further developed.
The ITU awarded final approval to the G.fast standard in December 2014, blessing a technology that’s designed to ramp up DSL speeds and offset having to deploy FTTP technologies. The initial version of G.fast targets aggregate data capacity (upstream plus downstream) of 1 Gbps. Telcos with extensive DSL networks are looking at G.fast as cable MSOs continue to deploy DOCSIS 3.0, which enables max downstream of about 1-Gig. Cable operators such as Comcast and Liberty Global have aggressive plans to deploy DOCSIS 3.1, a spec that’s for multi-gigabit speeds – up to 10 Gbps down and at least 1 Gbps upstream.