What is G.fast broadband?
G.fast is the new Ultrafast 100Mbps+ broadband that is expected to be rolled out soon.
16:48 14 August 2017
G.fast is the new Ultrafast 100Mbps+ broadband that is expected to be rolled out soon (as opposed to the 24Mbps+ Superfast FTTC/P currently widely available).
So what’s different about G.fast?
Existing FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) connections rely on copper from your local street cabinet to carry your broadband signal which greatly impacts the speeds available. G.fast extends the fibre to your local distribution point (telephone pole, mini cabinet etc) which means the amount of copper used in your network is greatly reduced and a higher frequency can be used over much shorter distances. This means that eventually you could be looking at 330-500Mbps + from a G.fast connection, depending on your distance from your local cabinet and the length of copper required from your DP to your premises.
This implementation solution has benefits to Openreach over the FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) solution which is being used on new build premises. The main one is that it is substantially cheaper to implement using mostly existing infrastructure. G.fast “pods” can be installed on existing street cabinets negating the expense and time constraints of expanding the current networks.
How much does G.fast cost?
It’s expected that there will be 2 defined products, G.fast1 offering up to 330 Mbit/s and G.fast2 offering up to 160Mbit/s. Pricing is expected to be around £50-60 per month including line rental for G.fast1 and £55.-50 for G.fast2. Exact figures remain to be seen and may be dependent on how aggressively BT’s main competitors such as TalkTalk and Sky market this new product as availability increases. There will be install / set up charges from Openreach which are likely to be passed on to end users of around £99.
When Can I Get G.fast?
Currently G.fast is being trialled in the areas below, however customers are reporting seeing many new G.fast pods on local street cabinets in areas not included below, making it increasingly likely that an extended roll out can be expected soon.
* Bolton, Greater Manchester
* Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire*
* Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
* Derby, Derbyshire
* Donaldson, South East Scotland
* Gillingham, Kent*
* Langside, Glasgow
* Donaldson, Edinburgh
* Gosforth, Tyne & Wear
* Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
* Luton, Bedfordshire
* Rusholme, Manchester
* St. Austell, Cornwall
* Swansea, Wales
* Swindon, Wiltshire
* London: Balham / Upton Park, London
It is expected that by 2020 some 10 million homes will have access to Ultrafast broadband and around 90% of all homes and businesses by 2025.
The one drawback to G.fast is that it is not expected to help consumers who do not have access to superfast broadband already. Those suffering with sub 10Mbit/s speeds are unlikely to feel any benefit as G.fast effectively piggyback on the existing fibre network. A solution in the way of the USO being proposed by OFCOM means that the last 5% unable to get these types of speeds will be offered an upto 10Mbit/s service, likely delivered using combinations of copper, satellite and fixed wireless solutions. Information on the proposed USO can be found here https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-1/broadband-uso
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