Broadband Fast Enough For You?

BT has announced details of two G.fast-based ultrafast broadband services which promise download speeds of at least 100Mbps at all times.

The two 18-month services, Ultrafast Fibre 1 and Ultrafast Fibre 2, will cost £54.99/month and £59.99/month respectively is available to over a quarter of a million UK homes.

Both packages will include a new BT Smart Hub and access to 5 million of the BT Wi-Fi hotspots around the country as standard.

You'll need to pay a one-off charge of £59.99, but there's no charge for the router itself or its delivery. While availability is limited - you'll need to enter your postcode in the Ultrafast Fibre page here - when the services arrive, the difference between these new services and BT Infinity is expected to be like night and day.

Marc Allera, chief executive of BT Consumer, has promised an end to peak time slowdown and the promise of £20 if you ever dip below 100Mbps.

"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," Allera said.

"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."

Read next: BT Sport to broadcast every Premier League game in 4K and Dolby Atmos

That's a pretty bold claim and, if true, a welcome development, seeing as that should be plenty enough bandwidth for more than one screen in a typical home to stream 4k video; Netflix says that you need at least 25Mbps at all times in order to access it's UHD streams, which you can access through BT's top-tier TV box.

This also paves the way for more improvements in BT's TV service, like the Extra Box multiroom service, which has been hamstrung by bandwidth limitations in the past.

Between now and the end of 2020, BT's network arm Openreach hopes to have passed at least 10 million addresses with G.fast.

Despite the name, the Ultrafast Fibre services use G.fast technology, which sees optical fibre taken from a street cabinet to an extension pod that's, typically attached to a telegraph pole. The so-called last mile from the pole will be the same twisted copper pair used with ADSL and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) services.

Separately, Openreach also aims to roll out at least 2 million Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) by 2020, possibly going as far as 10 million by 2025. FTTP can guarantee speeds in excess of 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) and isn't affected by electromagnetic interference the way that the copper elements of other fixed-line connections are.

Update: Edited to include details on connection fees and contract lengths.

"GFastStJames14" by BT's BDUK partnerships fibre rollout photography is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Source : http://uk.pcmag.com/bt/92901/news/bt-announces-152mbps-and-314mbps-ultrafast-fibre-gfast-broad

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