High speeds of up to 330Mbps are expected in the test, and while the rollout is still limited, there are plans to bring the new system to up to 12 million homes and businesses by the end of 2020.
While practically all of the UK’s superfast broadband comes from fibre to the cabinet connections (FTTC), it’s held back by using copper wire for the final few hundred metres.
G.Fast is different because it can send ultrafast speeds over these existing copper lines; meaning speeds of up to 5Gbps could be possible in future.
The news comes just days after the biggest BT shakeup in years. Industry regulator Ofcom and the telecommunications giant finally reached a deal to begin separating BT and Openreach.
This week BT Openreach’s very first G.fast customers were in the town of Gillingham in Kent, which was closely followed by areas of Balham and Upton Park in London.
Chief Executive of Openreach Clive Selley said G.fast broadband would provide “another boost to the UK’s thriving digital economy”.
He added: “We want to improve the personal and professional lives of people up and down the country, and delivering high-speed G.fast services at scale and pace means we can reach more of them.”
He continued: “We’re looking forward to delivering ultrafast speeds to the largest number of people in the fastest possible time over the coming months and years.”
Mehmet Uzum is the owner of Temiz bookkeeping, and was the first customer to receive G.fast broadband in BT Openreach’s new trial.
He said: “All our client data is stored in the Cloud. Having ultrafast speeds means we can download and upload that data instantly – however many client accounts we are working on at the same time.”
He added: “Uploading heavy data files could take a couple of hours with the speeds we had before but now we can achieve the same in a matter of minutes – it is a big time saver.
Check directly with BT for the availability in your area here.