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November 23, 2012

BT unveils ‘hyper-fast’ broadband network

The telecommunications service is launching the first ever trial of a 10Gbps broadband service.

By Tineka Smith

The new technology will be tested for deployment at Arcol, a Cornwall based engineering firm.

The new concept uses new fibre technology called XGPON, which was developed by the electronics company, ZTE.

BT says that Arcol is experiencing "record-breaking" speeds with more bandwidth available than at the highest point for the entire Olympics network.

The 10Gbps trial runs over high speed fibre optic network that was created by the Superfast Cornwall Programme. The programme is a partnership between BT, Cornwall Council and the EU and has made fibre optic broadband accessible to over 100,000 businesses and homes in Cornwall.

"What is exciting about this trial is that these hyper-fast speeds have been obtained over the exactly the same fibre that carries BT’s fibre broadband services today," Ranulf Scarbrough, Programme Director for the Cornwall SuperFast Broadband Programme, All we are doing is changing the electronics at either end."

The 10Gbps technology, however, has limitations because of physical limits from current networking and computer equipment.

Alun Morgan, technical director at Arcol, says the new connection speed is "opening the door" for the company to do more.

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"We are still only just discovering the sorts of things we can do with these speeds, such as taking advantage of services like videoconferencing and using a cloud-based ERP system so we can access this information elsewhere, and it has enabled us to be much more efficient and aggressive," he said.

BT aims for the demonstration to show that upgrades at the exchange and user premises could make a difference in receiving even faster speeds.

"This trial shows we are thinking and ready for the future even though there are no current plans to deploy this technology," said Scarbrough. "A lot of this project is about future proofing – making sure that it’s not just the fastest speeds today but that we can continue to be at the cutting edge for five, ten, twenty years."

Please follow this writer on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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