Andrews & Arnold Ltd (A&A) announce first customer trial of G.Fast; the new broadband technology from Openreach, initially enabling speeds of up to 160 Mbit/sec down and 50 Mbits/sec up.
The underlying technology, a variation on existing DSL, uses several techniques to allow for theoretical bandwidths of up to 1Gbit/sec on very very short phone lines, but at present, Openreach is launching with 160 and 330Mbit options. A&A intends to offer 330Mbit services in due course, but is launching 160Mbit services on a trial basis initially.
A&A predict that the major use-case for this new broadband option will be customers who wish to achieve higher uplink speeds.
Alex Bloor, General Manager of A&A said,
"We have reached a point where, practically speaking, many users will not notice the difference between an 80Mbit service and a 160Mbit service most of the time. Even a 4K video stream, for example from Netflix, will only use a fraction of the available capacity on an 80Meg link. But what many of our customers really will benefit from is the higher uplink speed. As services like Dropbox are still gaining popularity, so the customer wish to synchronise seamlessly into the cloud becomes more and more common. And theoretical 50Mbit/sec upload should help greatly with this. Of course, the higher downstream speeds are nice too, when downloading OS updates or games, but we think it will be the upload speed that is most noticeably useful within our demographic."
The costs (at least until the trial ends) will be simply £10 added to the existing A&A pricing for FTTC. A&A will cover the cost of the install/migration on an existing phone line (ie FREE install), and a discounted ZyXEL VMG3925 is available for £25. The installation will be carried out by an Openreach engineer who will provide the modem (A Huawei MT992).
At present the coverage for G.Fast is fairly minimal, but Openreach say they are going to be rolling out service to many more locations soon; especially those which do not have an FTTP footprint.The trial is open to existing and new customers. You can use the Availability Checker on our website to see if G.Fast is available and then email in to email@example.com and we can explain more and progress an order. We are also interested to hear if there is demand for a 160/50Mbit/sec service.
It should be noted that these headline speeds are really only going to be available where the street cabinet is fairly close to your premises. If your cabinet is within few hundred metres then you are likely to see improvement in speeds over FTTC.
The availability checker on https://aa.net.uk will show G.Fast if you use your phone number. If you only have an address, then use the postcode, but then follow the 'Address Checker' link where you can progress by giving your specific address details.
As you can see, G.Fast is not always going to be faster than FTTC....