For those of you lucky enough to be able to get your ADSL connection over copper, rather than damp string, BT are now offering higher speeds, up to 314Mb/s. This is Ultrafast Broadband, offering speeds of over 100Mb/s. To be fair, BT have previously had speeds like this using their FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) infrastructure. But fibre is only available in a small subset of locations. Now BT are trialling the G.fast over ADSL, which provides faster speeds over the traditional copper delivery. Using copper means that this could be rolled out to a greater portion of the UK population. Avoiding the need to upgrade the in-ground infrastructure to each home. Using copper will save money, lowering the cost of deploying higher-speed connections, compared with the need to lay fibre to each premises.
But the biggest part of the news is not the faster maximum speed, or the new technology. It is instead the guarantee against speed falling below 100Mb/s, backed by cash compensation of £20. BT’ announces this in their press-release (BT Consumer launches Ultrafast Fibre broadband with 100Mbps speed guarantee). BT claim more than 250,000 homes can take advantage of Ultrafast broadband already. This is about 10% of the 23mn homes in the UK.
“We are the first and only company to guarantee speeds of 100Mbps for our customers, even at peak times when people really need their broadband to deliver. Ultrafast technology is going to be a vital part of a transformation in the speed that our customers receive. Whether it is six in the evening or six in the morning, with Ultrafast Fibre everyone can be online at the same time, streaming, downloading and gaming. Rather than spending hours downloading TV shows or films to their smartphone or tablet, they’ll be able to do it in minutes. Customers will have complete peace of mind that they can always rely on Ultrafast Fibre, backed up by the promise that we’ll give them £20 if their speed ever falls below 100Mbps.” – Marc Allera, Chief Executive, BT Consumer
Also on their website is an page (Ultrafast Fibre: The first and only fibre broadband with a 100 Mb speed guarantee) promting the benefits of Ultrafast broadband. But BT knows how broadband is perceived, particularly in UK rural areas. So they have teamed up with chef Ian Haste (@Hasteskitchen).. (Hang on, did they really just do that? Hire a chef with a speed related surname?) He has prepared some quick recipes to help you through the download wait. (So his Smashed avocado, chili and lime on toast topped with a poached egg takes the same time to prepare as to download (an indeterminately sized) box set.
Openreach have a list of the areas participating in the UK G.fast trial being run with BT and TalkTalk. G.fast (fast is an acronym for “Fast Access to Subscriber Terminals”, and is more properly known as G.9700 and G.9701)