BT (NYSE: BT) is moving forward with its strategy to get ultra-fast broadband technology deployed in select parts of the United Kingdom in the near future. The carrier is working with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) on a consumer test of G.fast, a technology that can enable broadband speeds up to 330 Mbps over copper, in Gosforth, located in northeast England.
A BT Openreach technician deploys G.fast in Huntingdon, UK, in late-August. BT and Alcatel-Lucent are trialing the technology in 2,000 more homes in Gosforth, UK. (Source: BT)
The trial will last six to nine months and cover up to 2,000 homes around Gosforth. In addition to improved broadband speeds, consumers participating in the test will have access to "multiple simultaneous 4K TV channels" as well as streaming video and HD video downloads.
"This is the largest trial of G.fast technology in the world today and extensive research by teams of experts at both BT and Alcatel-Lucent have prepared us well for this exploration into how the technology performs," said Mike Galvin, managing director of service, strategy and operations for BT.
G.fast, developed to deliver broadband speeds in areas where deploying fiber-based broadband would be difficult or too expensive, has been in testing by BT and Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs for several years. Alcatel-Lucent has trialed G.fast with more than 30 operators worldwide so far.
BT and Alcatel-Lucent earlier this year conducted a smaller consumer test in Hethersett, Norfolk, UK, which the companies deemed "very successful."
The companies also are testing G.fast in up to 2,000 homes in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire in a similar six- to nine-month trial that began in late August, using equipment from Alcatel-Lucent, Adtran and Huawei.
Should testing continue to prove successful, BT's Openreach division said in August that it will move ahead with plans to begin deploying the technology in 2016 and 2017 alongside its FTTC (fiber to the cabinet) and FTTP (fiber to the premises) services.
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