BT launches G.fast broadband trial in Cambridgeshire

The company hopes to achieve download speeds of up to 330Mbps in two thousand premises

BT has announced it will be running the first field trials of G.fast broadband in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

The trial will involve providing two thousand premises with internet speeds of up to 330Mbps via the Openreach wholesale division, meaning it won't just be limited to BT customers.

The trial is being carried out with Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei as partners, both of which will presumably be providing Openreach with the hardware and infrastructure to run the trial.

G.fast allows ISPs to get fibre broadband closer to the home, with the final leg into homes provided by copper wires, which can be installed without digging up gardens, meaning speeds are boosted and implemented faster in comparison to traditional fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) connections, despite using existing equipment.

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"The UK already leads Europe when it comes to superfast broadband coverage and speeds, with around 40,000 more homes and businesses getting access every week thanks to the government rollout," said Culture Secretary John Whittingdale.

"We want to stay ahead of the competition and so it's good to see this continued investment and innovation in the industry. BT is harnessing its world-class technology and engineering expertise to help the UK lead the way on ultrafast broadband and remain a world leading digital economy," Whittingdale added.

The trial will initially run for between six and nine months, after which time BT hopes to roll out a much larger trial.

"Today is the start of a new chapter in building Britain's connected future. This is the largest trial of G.fast technology in the world and it builds on the pioneering research of BT's world-class teams," said Joe Garner, CEO of Openreach.

"We conducted the world's first G.fast trial in 2013, and our experts have been heavily involved in creating global industry standards for this technology. We're now eager to support all our service providers in learning how customers enjoy the service.

BT confirmed its plans to roll out G.fast broadband back in February. At the time, the company said it will also be trialling its technology in Newcastle but this latest news hasn't mentioned the city.

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BT's chief executive Gavin Patterson said: "We believe G.fast is the key to unlocking ultrafast speeds and we are prepared to upgrade large parts of our network should the pilots prove successful. That upgrade will depend however on there continuing to be a stable regulatory environment that supports investment."

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