BT will go ahead with a trial of G.fast, new technology which promises download speeds of up to 500Mbps, in Swansea.
G.fast promises triple digit download speeds without the need for replacing every inch of the old copper telephone lines with fibre optic lines.
In theory, BT could use G.fast to deliver next-gen speeds ahead of an expensive nationwide upgrade of its network, which reaches around 30 million premises across the UK.
In practice, things might be a little different, which is why BT is keen to test G.fast out in a number of places ahead of a commercial launch.
Related: 4K and 8K video: Easily doable on gigabit-over-copper G.fast broadbandA major part of the Swansea test will be assessing how G.fast can be used to serve blocks of flats and businesses – buildings where multiple connections are needed – to test its viability.
Elsewhere in the UK, BT is putting G.fast through its paces in rural Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire and surburban Gosforth, Newcastle.
Speaking at the UK Network Operators Forum in Manchester last month, Neil McRae, BT’s chief network architect said: “[G.fast] will initially provide hundreds of megabits, rising up to 500Mbps within ten years.
“We are aggressively pursuing further industry standards to improve the rate vs reach of G.fast and enable new kit to be developed.”
The company has also launched a test lab in Swansea, which will allow industry workers and academics access to the technology for trial purposes, allowing them to trial new technologies which could utilise the ultrafast service.
It’s not been confirmed if the Swansea facility will run tests on XG-FAST, an extension of G.fast which promises download speeds of 1Gbps (1,000 Mbps).