Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

UPDATE A Quick Update on BT’s G.fast and FOD2 Ultrafast Broadband Trial

Thursday, September 17th, 2015 (8:46 am) - Score 4,350

At the end of last month BTOpenreach began connecting customers to their large-scale 6-9 month trial of 500Mbps capable NGA2 G.fast broadband technology and 1Gbps Fibre-on-Demand (FOD2) in the market town of Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire). Now we have the first official progress update.

The update (thanks Carl), which stems from a joint presentation given by both Ian Boothman (Openreach) and Dawn Devonald (TalkTalk) to the UK Network Operators’ Forum (UKNOF), doesn’t reveal much that we didn’t already know (see here for details) or couldn’t have guessed. Never the less there were a few bits of useful information.

As a quick recap, G.fast works in a roughly similar way to the current 80Mbps capable hybrid-fibre FTTC (VDSL2) technology that dominates the UK market (ISPs often market this as “fibre broadband“), although it requires significantly more spectrum (G.fast 106MHz+ vs FTTC 17MHz) and thus operates best over a much shorter run of copper cable (ideally less than 350 metres).

The technology’s Nodes / Distribution Points (DP) could be installed inside / alongside existing street cabinets, as well as underground (i.e. similar to existing NGA Aggregation Nodes) or on top of local telegraph poles. All of these nodes would be fed by a fibre optic cable, with the remaining G.fast link running over your existing copper line.

BT intends to trial G.fast with around 2,000 premises (availability only – actual uptake will be in the hundreds) in Huntingdon and then the same again in Gosforth (Newcastle), the latter of which should begin this month. On top of that a smaller “technical trial” will take place in Swansea (Wales). Hardware from ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei is being tested.

BT are also testing a 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based upgrade to their business focused and long-stalled Fibre-on-Demand (FoD2) service, which is trying to find a more cost effective approach to deployment (note: final product pricing won’t see much change and will remain very high). Here’s a useful map to show where the current trial is in operation.

Huntingdon G.fast deployment trial map

The Trial Update (Huntingdon)

Firstly, the latest update appears to confirm the trial’s exact product specification, which includes some clarity on upload speeds and the “prioritised rate” (these were previously unclear).

NGA2 Technology Types

1. NGA2 G.Fast
* Up to 330 Mbit/s downstream
* Up to 30 to 50Mbit/s upstream
* Downstream prioritised rate 80Mbit/s
* Multicast enabled

2. NGA2 Fibre on Demand (FOD)
* Up to 1Gbit/s downstream
* Up to 100Mbits/s upstream
* Downstream prioritised rate 100Mbit/s
* Multicast enabled

Apparently the initial G.fast results have been “very promising” and “in line with our lab modelling“, with “almost” all of the customers that have been connected receiving 300Mbps+ speeds (most are said to be capable of receiving an even higher rate). “These results give us confidence that G.fast is an excellent technical solution to deliver ultrafast speeds to most homes,” said the report.

However they also confirm that most of the above customers are “fairly close” to the DP, which would of course result in the best speeds. The trials will also test over longer distances too, although there’s no feedback for those yet. It’s further noted that the FOD2 trial hasn’t yet begun and will follow “later in the year“.

One other point to make concerns G.fast’s upload rate, which the progress update highlights as “up to 30 to 50Mbps“. However the UKNOF speech itself stated that this information is out-of-date and in fact they’re currently only testing with 50Mbps.

The hope here, as BT has stated before, is to begin a commercial G.fast roll-out to “most homes” from 2016/17 (assuming Ofcom doesn’t throw a spanner in the works by splitting Openreach). This would be a 10-year long deployment, with top service speeds starting at 300Mbps and rising to 500Mbps towards the end of that period. We suspect this would at most reach 60-70% of UK premises. A further trial update is expected next month.

UPDATE 10:47am

Anybody with an interest in the technical side of the G.fast trial might also like to check out the related SIN 518 (Issue 1 – August 2015) document, which confirms the 50Mbps upload speed in writing.

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
Tags: , , , , ,
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
45 Responses

Comments are closed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £20.00 (*54.00)
    Speed: 400Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £23.50 (*26.50)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £25.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: ROKUGIFT
  • Community Fibre £27.50 (*32.50)
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: First 6 Months Free
  • Virgin Media £28.00 (*52.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Vodafone £19.50 (*22.50)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £20.00 (*32.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £20.00 (*25.00)
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: ROKUGIFT
  • TalkTalk £21.00 (*29.95)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £21.95 (*38.20)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £75 Reward Card
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (3663)
  2. BT (3043)
  3. Politics (1972)
  4. Building Digital UK (1942)
  5. FTTC (1897)
  6. Openreach (1862)
  7. Business (1717)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1500)
  9. Statistics (1427)
  10. FTTH (1367)
  11. 4G (1295)
  12. Virgin Media (1193)
  13. Fibre Optic (1184)
  14. Wireless Internet (1175)
  15. Ofcom Regulation (1165)
  16. Vodafone (859)
  17. EE (845)
  18. 5G (792)
  19. TalkTalk (779)
  20. Sky Broadband (756)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact