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BT claims fiber-copper system delivered speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second

British Telecom (BT) reports that its research has proved that G.FAST technology can provide "ultrafast modern broadband" via a mix of fiber and copper cabletechnology.

A press release said that researchers were able to see combined downstream and upstream speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1000 Mbps), a rate that it observed was not believed possible with a system that included copper cables for the last leg. Making fiber the last step for an internet connection was an "expensive, disruptive and time consuming process" that may not be necessary, it said.

BT said that most of its customers are supplied by Fiber to the Premises (FTTP), an expensive method where high speed cable is laid all the way to where it is needed, and Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC), where comparatively lengthy old-school copper connections link a fiber-connected exchange to a home or business.

During the G.FAST trials, the release said, researchers achieved downstream speeds of around 800Mbps over a 19m length of copper and upstream speeds of more than 200Mbps. Speeds of around 700/200Mbps were also achieved over longer 66 m lines. BT is now planning to study the technology at a new ultrafast broadband lab at its Adastral Park R&D center in Ipswich.

"We see G.FAST as a very promising technology with significant potential. That's why we're putting some of our best minds on the case to assess it fully in a purpose-built facility," said Dr. Tim Whitley, MD of Research and Innovation, BT Group said.

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