UK’s BT lays out gigabit broadband plans with a hint of a threat


BT is stepping up its superlatives. “Superfast” broadband speeds are so 2014 – now the British telecoms giant is planning a shift to “ultrafast” broadband of up to 500 megabits per second (Mbps) or, for those willing to pay a premium, a whole gigabit per second.

All this is based on technology, which delivers fiber-like speeds despite using an older copper connection into the home. Pilots of the technology will take place this summer in Gosforth, Newcastle, and Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, taking in up to 4,000 premises.

Hello uses more spectrum than previous fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) techniques, but it needs the fiber-copper connection point to be closer to the premises than many street cabinets are, probably meaning the addition of new boxes on telephone poles and the like (a technique known as fiber-to-the-distribution-point, or FTTdp.) This is still likely to be cheaper than running fiber into the premises.


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