BT, Alcatel-Lucent demo 5 Gbps on existing copper pairs using XG.fast

BT (NYSE: BT) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) have completed a demonstration of XG.fast technology during which the service provider was able to deliver more than 5 Gbps over its existing copper pairs.

Although the implementation of XG.fast technology is in early lab testing at BT, the telco said it "exceeded expectations in trials at Adastral Park, BT's global research and development campus in Suffolk, and Alcatel-Lucent's labs in Antwerp."

During the recent demonstration, BT delivered aggregate speeds of 5.6 Gbps over 35 meters of copper cable. Further, it noted that the technology also performed well over longer distances, with aggregate speeds of 1.8 Gbps over 100 meters. BT said this was promising because the majority of UK homes are within this distance of their local distribution point, be that a pole or footway box.

G.fast has been one of the key technologies in BT's next-generation broadband toolkit it is considering as it allows the service provider to deliver higher speed services without having to build out fiber to more homes or businesses. The potential end result is that it could serve a larger number of premises with Gbps-level services.

Mike Galvin, managing director of next generation access for BT's technology service and operations division, said in a release that "G.fast is the ideal technology as it can be deployed at scale and speed, allowing as many people to benefit a soon as possible."

Openreach, BT's local access network business, said that G.fast will help it meet its goal to reach 10 million premises by the end of 2020 and the majority of the U.K. by the end of 2025 with "ultrafast" speeds.

Leveraging its current fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, Openreach will use G.fast as part of its ultrafast product range, which also includes fiber-to-the-premises technology in certain areas.

G.fast is currently being trialed by Openreach in Huntingdon and Gosforth. Participants are getting downstream speeds of up to 330 Mbps.

BT said that if the trials are successful -- and if UK regulation continues to encourage investment -- Openreach will start deploying G.fast in 2016-17 alongside its FTTC and FTTP services. The company expects speeds to rise to up to 500 Mbps as the technology is rolled out across the country.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
BT, Alcatel-Lucent expand G.fast broadband testing to 2,000 more UK homes
BT will deploy G.fast in 2016-17 if trial is successful
ABI: Global broadband CPE devices will top 153.6M by year-end
BT's Patterson threatens lawsuits to 'defend' shareholders if Ofcom forces it to sell Openreach

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