We saw G.fast in action at the BT labs in Martlesham Heath back in October and the ITU has now just given its final approval to the standard in the form of ITU-T G.9701 which was around the physical layer specification after previous approval of the standard to ensure that services such as FM radio are not impacted.
Our trip to the BT labs showed how VDSL2 and G.fast can co-exist in the same local loop and with Fibre to the remote node supporting both VDSL2 and G.fast users could upgrade with the switch in speeds done remotely. While all the headlines talk of Gigabit speeds, there is a slight sleight of hand as this usually means a combined download and upload speed, but downloads of 500 Mbps and uploads of 200 Mbps look to be realistic speeds for the average distance of a home from the distribution point.
Of course if going to deploy G.fast to within 50m of a dozen properties, why not install FTTH? The simple answer is money, not the price of the fibre and tubing but the hours of labour to connect each property. If you can connect all of the properties in one go with FTTH then it is cheaper, but that tends to only happen in community led schemes.
Hopefully G.fast which is clearly seen as the way forward by the BT Group will have its costs evaluated against deploying Fibre to the Home/Premises (FTTH/FTTP) and where full fibre is cheaper the sensible approach of deploying FTTH will go ahead.