Openreach tests Long Reach VDSL

Aug. 22, 2016
Openreach, the local networking arm of BT, has begun a proof on concept test of Long Reach VDSL in the Outer Hebrides village of North Tolsta on the Isle of Lewis. As the name implies, the technology aims to extend the ability of VDSL to deliver typical data rates over links as long as 2.5 to 3.5 km from the cabinet.

Openreach, the local networking arm of BT, has begun a proof on concept test of Long Reach VDSL in the Outer Hebrides village of North Tolsta on the Isle of Lewis. As the name implies, the technology aims to extend the ability of VDSL to deliver typical data rates over links as long as 2.5 to 3.5 km from the cabinet.

The trial will involve approximately 20 households in the village, whose island is part of Scotland.

Long Reach VDSL, developed by BT, boosts VDSL's power levels and makes use of a wider range of frequencies than standard iterations of VDSL. The result, BT and Openreach expect, is increased broadband speeds over greater distances. BT and Openreach hope to use the technology to help meet the UK Government's mandate to bring at least 10 Mbps to all residents, regardless of how rural their environs may be.

In fact, North Tolsta was chosen due to its remoteness, as well as the fact that its fiber cabinet supports a cluster of long lines. Those taking part in the proof of concept will keep their higher-speed connections "for the forseeable future" should the demonstration prove successful, Openreach promises.

"I'm pleased that North Tolsta is the first Long Reach VDSL test site in Scotland and the early results are very positive," said Openreach CEO Clive Selley. "This trial will provide engineers with more information on how the new technology works in one of the UK's remotest locations."

Openreach says it will conduct additional trials of the technology in other locations around the UK in the future.

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