BT is planning to jack up the speed of its fibre network using G.fast technology.
The telco announced today that it plans to increase fibre broadband speeds to up to 500Mbps over the next few years.
It will begin piloting G.fast in two areas this year, a technology that builds on VDSL2 to deliver high speeds over short loops - that is, where the copper 'last mile' between the customer and the fibre network is under a few hundred metres. Depending on loop length, G.fast can deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps over copper.
If the pilots prove successful, BT's G.fast rollout will be one of the first commercial deployments after the standard was signed off by the ITU late last year.
BT will begin testing G.fast in 4,000 premises in Huntington, Cambridge, and Gosforth this summer and if all goes to plan, it will start a full commercial deployment over 2016 and 2017.
The eventual speeds that users can expect will depend on the distance between their premises and the fibre distribution point, such as a junction box, street cabinet, or telephone pole.
"BT expects to offer initial speeds of a few hundred megabits per second to millions of homes and businesses by 2020. Speeds will then increase to around 500Mbps as further industry standards are secured and new kit is developed," the company said.
It expects to be able to reach "most of the country" with 500Mbps services by the end of the decade.
BT is also looking to develop a 1Gbps "premium" broadband service for businesses and consumers using G.fast.
According to BT, G.fast can offer fibre-to-the-premises type speeds but has a lower installation cost, and can be switched on for individual customers without the need for an engineer visit.
BT's fibre network currently passes around three-quarters of the UK.
The company announced its G.fast rollout alongside its third quarter results. The company reported revenue of £4.5bn, down three percent year on year.
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