Openreach plans new FTTP, G.fast trials

Openreach, BT's infrastructure arm that is the subject of scrutiny by UK communications regulatory authority Ofcom (see "Ofcom: BT can keep Openreach for now, but changes needed"), has announced plans to test fiber to the premises (FTTP) technology for business services delivery as well as two additional trials of G.fast.

Openreach, BT's infrastructure arm that is the subject of scrutiny by UK communications regulatory authority Ofcom (see "Ofcom: BT can keep Openreach for now, but changes needed"), has announced plans to test fiber to the premises (FTTP) technology for business services delivery as well as two additional trials of G.fast.

The FTTP test will include a pair of locations in Bradford, Kirkgate High Street and Listerhills Science Park. The fiber-optic network infrastructure will deliver gigabit broadband services as part of the trial. Installation work has begun in Bradford, and Openreach expects to connect the first businesses late this spring. If successful, the trials could lead to a new gigabit broadband offering for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Openreach adds that it will deliver FTTP into new housing developments across the UK that have more than 250 living units.

On the G.fast end, Openreach will deploy the technology in Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire and Gillingham, Kent. Deployment work is expected to begin "soon." According to Openreach. The trial will see 25,000 homes and businesses in the two areas able to access download speeds of up 330 Mbps. The new sites are part of a larger investigation of G.fast as a way to boost broadband delivery over existing copper lines (see "BT connects first G.fast trial customers").

"I'm determined to roll out ultrafast broadband, and G.fast technology is the best way to deliver that to the majority of the UK as quickly as possible. We also plan to roll out significantly more fiber-to-the-premises, and we're trialling a range of options in Bradford to use that technology increasingly in future – wherever it makes sense," asserted Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach.

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