Broadband users could see download speeds boosted dramatically after BT confirmed plans to trial G.fast – a technology that can deliver speeds of up to 500Mbps – in 4,000 homes.
The ISP says tests at its research centre at Adastral Park, Suffolk, show the technology can deliver “significant speed increases” from existing street cabinets, with even faster speeds achieved when deployed in “other points closer to the customer.”
If the consumer trials announced today are successful BT says it’ll start rolling out G.fast across the UK next year.
Customers would initially get access to download speeds of “a few hundred megabits per second” by 2020 with speeds increasing to 500Mbps as new kit is developed.
BT has also announced that it’s working on a premium fibre broadband service for residential and business customers who want speeds of up to 1Gbps.
CEO Gavin Patterson today says “most of the UK” could benefit from dramatically faster speeds within a decade.
“We believe G.fast is the key to unlocking ultrafast speeds and we are prepared to upgrade large parts of our network should the pilots prove successful,” Patterson said today.
However with the firm facing calls for more of its prices and margins to be regulated, Patterson wanted the upgrade was dependent “there continuing to be a stable regulatory environment that supports investment.”
He added: “The UK is ahead of its major European neighbours when it comes to broadband and we need to stay ahead as customer demands evolve.
“G.fast will allow us to do that by building on the investment we have made in fibre to date. It will transform the UK broadband landscape from superfast to ultrafast in the quickest possible timeframe.”