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First customer in BT trial 'surprised' at speed of G.fast broadband

Friday, October 9th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A retired payroll officer has become the first customer in the north of England to trial a new broadband technology.

Margaret Broughton of Gosforth, Newcastle, is trialling BT Openreach’s G.fast service, which uses a combination of fibre optic cables and copper wires to deliver speeds up to 330Mbps.

A week after being connected to the technology, Mrs Broughton said she has seen a noticeable difference in her broadband service.

“I already had superfast broadband but I am still surprised by how much faster this is – even after just a week of using it,” she said.

“The other day I downloaded an hour long TV programme in High Definition and it was ready to watch straight away. There was no waiting at all.

“At the moment my daughter and grandchild are staying with us so there can often be as many as five devices like laptops and smartphones all downloading or streaming something on the internet at the same time.

“Despite this everything is instantaneous whatever we are doing online – it really is ultrafast.”

In the coming weeks, 2,000 homes and businesses will be included in the Gosforth trial. Another customer trial is taking place in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, while BT is carrying out technical trials in Swansea, south Wales.

G.fast was pioneered by BT’s research and development division, working alongside international vendors ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei, as well as chipset manufacturers and global standards bodies.

The trials are open to all broadband providers that use the Openreach network. If they prove successful, Openreach aims to start deploying G.fast in 2016/17 alongside its existing services.

'Reap the benefits'

Bob Paton, CEO of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The news that Gosforth was chosen to trial this cutting edge technology was very welcome and it’s fantastic that local people are now beginning to reap the benefits.

“This technology will undoubtedly benefit our region and it’s great that the north east is playing such a key role in what will be a UK-wide rollout of ultrafast broadband.”

Openreach believes that G.fast will enable it to make speeds of 300-500Mbps available to 10m premises by 2020 and to most of the UK within a decade.

The company’s CEO Joe Garner said: “As we explained in our recently launched charter, we are determined to continue to improve the UK’s leading position on broadband.

“That’s why we are very excited to have begun the second G.Fast trial which is another step in building Britain’s connected future.”

BT will be demonstrating the performance of G.fast at Broadband World Forum, which takes place at ExCel London from 20-22 October.

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