BT is considering trials of gigabit speeds over FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) lines.
Bill Murphy, managing director of NGA (Next Generation Access) for BT told Recombu Digital that deployment of G.fast standard technology could see customers getting 1Gbps speeds on FTTC lines over distances of 100 meters from a street cabinet.
While this wouldn’t be helpful to everyone, as not everyone lives within a stone’s throw of a BT cabinet, this could see some customers getting 1Gbps without having to resort to FTTP On Demand.
Initial prices released for FTTP On Demand show that upgrading an FTTC line to a faster FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) type connection isn’t going to be cheap. So a way in which customers could get FTTP-type speeds without necessarily forking out for a last mile upgrade is likely to be well received.
Murphy told us that plans to implement G.fast on BT FTTC lines were very much “on the horizon.” It’s something that BT is looking alongside trials of vectoring, which could see speeds of up to 100Mbps arriving on FTTC, are taking place. Murphy told us:
“This is part of a long-term plan about how to evolve the network and how we can still deliver prices and speeds that will people pay for and deliver services that people will need.”
The idea of gigabit speeds over FTTC might seem like a pipe dream. The last mile of BT’s FTTC lines are made up of copper and as such are subject to interference. This makes delivering hyperfast speeds over long distances difficult, compared to a pure fibre connection.
However back in 2011, Huawei announced prototypes of Giga DSL technology, which promises to reduce interference to the point where download and upload speeds of 1Gbps are possible within 100 meters and 500Mbps and faster can be achieved within 200 meters.
BT’s vectoring trials, which are testing out 100Mbps speeds over FTTC, will take place across a number of areas this summer.