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Openreach showcases fastest ever consumer broadband

Press Release   •  Jun 12, 2017 13:00 BST

Openreach develops world first in partnership with Huawei

Openreach today launched the world’s first ever live demonstration of a 100Gbps or ‘hyperfast’ broadband service at BT’s R&D centre at Adastral Park.

The demonstration uses a standard residential Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) connection with advanced transmission technology – which can boost the broadband signal with enough capacity to stream 4,000 ultra HD quality movies simultaneously.

Developed together with research partners Huawei, the new broadband technology could super-charge speeds for businesses and consumers in the future.

This latest breakthrough shows that much greater capacity can be supported along the same fibre, demonstrating how ‘full fibre’ FTTP networks can be developed to stay well ahead of future demand for bandwidth.

The test equipment has been designed to replicate a fibre connection in a real-life setting with a single fibre carrying a 100G signal from exchange equipment and carried over standard technology used in Openreach’s existing FTTP network.

Mark Lam, chief information officer for Openreach, said: “This is the first time this has been demonstrated in public, and because we’re using standard infrastructure we can show exactly how we‘d transmit data to a customer’s premises.

“It demonstrates a massive hike in speed – the highest we’ve see worldwide. In fact it’s so fast that it’s actually very hard to transmit anything over it that can properly illustrate the capacity. It would pump more bandwidth into your home than the TV broadcasters use to transmit their raw footage from a football match.”

“Bandwidth requirements are increasing at a rate of around 40 per cent year on year, as services such as ultra-high definition video grow rapidly. There are predictions now that it would take more than 5 million years to watch just the amount of video that will cross global networks each month in 2020[1].

“We also need to be ready for the growth in other areas such as the new 5G mobile networks – set to be launched across Europe at the end of the decade, which also depend on fibre networks. By 2020, it is predicted that smartphone traffic will exceed PC traffic.”

“This latest development is showing where fibre broadband technology is headed and clearly demonstrates there’s more than enough capacity for it to have a secure future.”

During the next phase of testing, Openreach and Huawei will use the high bandwidth to evolve the global PON (passive optical network) standards and push towards field trialling the technology as the industry chain matures.

Clive Selley, Openreach CEO, said: “Superfast speeds are now available to 9 out of 10 homes and businesses and we're still taking fibre further. We're also excited to be bringing the country ultrafast speeds, which we’ll make available to up to 12 million UK premises by the end of 2020. But it’s also vital that we continue looking even further into the future, and this trial is all about preparing for increased data consumption over our network.

“The trial proves that not only is our FTTP network fit for the future, but with the right equipment in the customer’s home and at the exchange, we can tailor speeds to suit their individual needs. So whether you’re a small business specialising in graphic design or a keen gamer using UHD and virtual reality, we’ll be working to make sure your communications provider can offer you the speeds and value for money services that you need.

Jeff Wang, president of Huawei Access network, said: “Huawei is again proud to partner with Openreach, this time in demonstrating the future capability of the fibre PON network being rolled out in the UK.Over the last few years we have worked closely with Openreach to evolve copper networks from basic broadband, through Superfast into the ultrafast capabilities delivered through G.fast technology.

“Online services such as video and gaming are growing at an exponential rate, add in new technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, along with the “connected world” where everything in the home, from toasters to washing machines, heating, lights, security and even your pet is becoming connected, it’s not difficult to imagine a world where these bandwidth demands are heading into the multi Gigabits per second per home era”.

Today, around 92% of homes and businesses in the UK have access to superfast speeds of 30Mbps and above[2], whilst the Openreach fibre network is available to 26.5 million homes and businesses. More than 100 different communications providers (CPs) are offering services over the company’s open wholesale fibre network, and all of them have access to superfast and ultrafast services under the same terms, conditions and pricing.

The company will make ultrafast speeds available to as many as 12 million premises by the end of 2020, using a mixture of FTTP and G.fast technologies.

Ends

About Openreach

Openreach is the UK’s leading digital infrastructure provider.

Its 32,000 employees are responsible for building and maintaining millions of miles of fibre and copper cables that connect every home and business in the UK to local telephone exchanges. Openreach operates and maintains this network to deliver a range of wholesale services for more than 580 retail providers, who in-turn provide telephony, broadband, TV and data services to more than 30 million consumer and business customers throughout the country.

Openreach is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of its revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access its products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

Over the last decade, Openreach has invested more than £10bn into its network and is currently building the UK’s largest fibre broadband footprint. This technology is available to more than 26 million homes and businesses, with tens of thousands more gaining access each week.

Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group. For the year ended 31 March 2017, it reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visitopenreach.co.uk

About Huawei

Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Our aim is to enrich life and improve efficiency through a better connected world, acting as a responsible corporate citizen, innovative enabler for the information society, and collaborative contributor to the industry. Driven by customer-centric innovation and open partnerships, Huawei has established an end-to-end ICT solutions portfolio that gives customers competitive advantages in telecom and enterprise networks, devices and cloud computing. Huawei’s 180,000 employees worldwide are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers. Our innovative ICT solutions, products and services are used in more than 170 countries and regions, serving over one-third of the world’s population. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.

[1] The Zettabyte Era- Trends & Analysis, CISO http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/complete-white-paper-c11-481360.html

[2]Thinkbroadband data

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services. BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.btplc.com