The Government is now actively thinking beyond the completion of the current ‘Superfast’ Broadband rollout programme, scheduled to be March 2015 in Wales.
Next week UK Government, Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey MP, will be chairing a round table event in Westminster with key stakeholders to consider how best to get Superfast Broadband to the most difficult to reach areas.
The great and good will discuss the development of “innovative solutions” to solve the problem whilst needing to satisfy DCMS requirement for “enhanced mobile services, new fixed technologies and alternative approaches to structuring financial support”.
Whilst BT will naturally be promoting the benefits of their forthcoming Gfast technology and recently acquired mobile spectrum, it’s yet to be seen to what extent the roll of Wi-Fi could play. Some argue that Wi-Fi is the most cost effective and potentially most flexible solution for those at the end of the Broadband line, as can be seen here.
Reference: UK Gov, National Infrastructure Plan 2013
G.fast which can potentially deliver Broadband speeds of up to 1000Mbps (1Gbps) over BT’s hybrid fibre & copper lines has being given formal “consent” to the start the approval process by The International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T).
The ITU approval process is expected to complete in Q3 2014 and will pave the way for potential launch of G.fast into consumer market in 2016/17. This ties in nicely with the completion of the current Next Generation Broadband Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) deployment by BT.
At present BT uses FTTC technology to deliver speeds of up to 80Mbps, depending on line length. G.fast adopts a similar approach to FTTC but is designed maximise latest technologies such Vectoring. The clever thing about vectoring is that it minimises ‘cross-talk’ interference, and does not require mains power since it draws power from the customers modem/router.
Another advantage of G.fast is that is cheaper to deploy than Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), and along side greater use of radio spectrum is likely to be the next step of BT’s deployment in meeting Government targets for Next Generation Broadband access by 2020.