BT tests Adtran's G.fast platform at over 2,000 premises

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BT (NYSE: BT) has confirmed that it is testing Adtran's 500G fiber-to-the-distribution-point (FTTdp) platform as part of its G.fast trial taking place in over 2,000 premises in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, UK.

G.fast has been a key priority for BT, and its trial in Huntingdon which also includes testing of similar equipment from Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei, is just one of several tests it is conducting of the emerging technology.

It is also holding similar G.fast trials in Gosforth, located in northeast England, and Hethersett, Norfolk.

If these trials and others it has conducted are successful, BT's Openreach division said in August 2015 that it will move ahead with plans to begin deploying the technology in 2016 and 2017 alongside its fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) and fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) services.

What makes G.fast, a technology that can theoretically deliver up to 1 Gbps speeds on very short copper loops, exciting for incumbent telcos like BT is that it can leverage existing copper to deliver higher speed services in areas where it can't make a business case to build out a FTTP network.  

Mike Galvin, managing director of service, strategy & operations for BT, said in a release that G.fast "allows us to provide the ultra-fast broadband that customers demand, while reducing the time and cost of running fiber all the way to the premises."

These trials are also important for Adtran and Alcatel-Lucent, now part of Nokia (NYSE:NOK), in that they give both vendors credibility for a new technology at Tier 1 service provider.

For its part, Adtran said it has currently engaged in G.fast trials with over 60 service providers in six continents. Alcatel-Lucent said over 30 service providers are trialing its G.fast equipment. 

Stopping short of naming any specific service providers, Tom Stanton, Adtran's CEO, said during its fourth quarter 2015 earnings call that it is seeing strong momentum for its G.fast products in the United States and in Europe.

"In 2015 ADTRAN began trialing multiple configurations of super vectoring in G.fast and we exited the year securing a major award by a Tier 1 carrier here in the U.S. for G.fast," Stanton said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "And additional super vectoring award by a Tier 1 carrier in Europe was also received at the end of last year. We expect both of these to deliver in 2017."

For more:
- see the release

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BT's Patterson threatens lawsuits to 'defend' shareholders if Ofcom forces it to sell Openreach

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