Super speed G.fast broadband could go mainstream within a year

Faster broadband speeds could be on the way to the UK after the new G.fast broadband standard was approved by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The improved service will make use of existing copper lines.

Faster broadband speeds could be on the way to the UK after the new G.fast broadband standard was approved by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The improved service will make use of existing copper lines.

G.fast is a new broadband standard that has the potential to provide improved speeds for customers and substantial cost savings for operators, as it combines the best aspects of DSL (local networks) and fibre technologies. It's expected to become mainstream towards the end of 2015.

Tests by BT at its research lab have already been carried out on G.fast connections. The average download speed over a 19-metre length of copper cable was impressive at 786Mb. When the distance was increased further the speed did drop off but the results were still encouraging and surpassed existing technology.

BT welcomed the approval of G.fast. In a statement, it confirmed that it will be begin to trial the tech when they get their hands on a "fully standardised commercial kit" next year.

A BT spokesperson said: "We have made no decisions about the deployment of G.fast yet, but we see it as a very promising technology with significant potential. That's why we're putting some of our best minds on the case to assess it fully."

The ITU added: "The time from G.fast's approval to its implementation looks set to be the fastest of any access technology in recent memory."

G.fast could be particularly useful in rolling out super fast broadband to historic cities where using traditional copper networks is preferable to drilling holes for fibre connections in listed buildings.

Source: V3

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