By: MarkJ - 13 February, 2012 (12:31 PM)
uk channel island jerseyJersey Telecom (JT) has announced that the first 24 homes have been connected up to its 3 month trial of superfast fibre optic broadband ( FTTH ) ISP services on the Channel Island of Jersey and 500 more are set to follow over the next two weeks.

The trials, which are taking place around La Rocque, Fauvic and La Moye, are open to customer of all broadband ISPs (i.e. those on Jersey) and form part of JT's wider five year and £40m Gigabit Isles strategy. Internet download speeds of up to 100Mbps are generally available, although "some homes" will be given access to the ultimate 1Gbps (1024Mbps) option.

It's worth pointing out that JT's trial was originally due to start on 3rd January 2012, although it appears to have suffered roughly a month's delay. This isn't unusual for such a major project.

Graeme Millar, CEO of JT, explained:

"We have a 5 year roll out plan to connect all homes in Jersey by 2016. Clearly it takes time to replace the island-wide copper cable network, and we need to do that in stages to minimise disruption and gain appropriate access to the 42,000 homes. Thankfully when we laid the copper, we did it in such a way as to make it as easy as possible to replace, which will help to keep that disruption to a minimum.

I'm delighted the fibre broadband trial is now well underway, and the first Islanders are already benefitting from the new service; we have also just taken on our first new staff to help deliver the Gigabit Jersey project, so it is definitely all going forward as we planned, and is a very exciting time both for JT and for the Island as a whole. There is of course some way to go, but these are important initial milestones."

Under the present plan JT aims to extend their fibre optic network to every home and business on the Island by 2016. The final commercial service is expected to be offered to Islanders "in the near future", which means later this year. Meanwhile the first triallist are reporting real-world speeds of between 50-84Mbps, which is a darn sight better than the 3-4Mbps they had before.
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