Openreach demo shows 100 Gbps over its PON full fibre architecture
The debate of GPON versus Point to Point (PtP) full fibre is often a passionate debate, but a demonstration involving Openreach and Huawei at the BT R&D centre in Suffolk has shown that 100 Gbps is possible over the network operators GPON fibre network as is currently deployed to some 333,500 premises(*) in the UK.
The trial proves that not only is our FTTP network fit for the future, but with the right equipment in the customer’s home and at the exchange, we can tailor speeds to suit their individual needs. So whether you’re a small business specialising in graphic design or a keen gamer using UHD and virtual reality, we’ll be working to make sure your communications provider can offer you the speeds and value for money services that you need.Clive Selley, Openreach CEO
Openreach is currently only looking at offering 1 Gbps for business connectivity over its GPON full network and this will require the deployment of XGPON for those ordering the business service, this is going to push the price up, plus with providers expecting those who buy the fastest services to make extensive use of them to ensure things do not slow down too much at peak time prices will also likely reflect higher levels of reserved capacity on the providers own network and interlinks. The 500 Mbps variant also carries a fairly high price premium so likely that for pro-sumers the 330 Mbps variant will remain the aspirational target, and while we do see people using that service it is always swamped by the majority choosing the slower up to 38 and up to 76 Mbps variants amongst the general public.
Demonstrating 100 Gbps with the same splitters and fibre in place and only changing the electronics at the exchange and premises end, does indicate that the GPON network has a long life ahead of it, and this is important with 5G around the corner.
(*) Openreach declare a figure of 400,000 premises passed, and our tracking has some 333,500 as passed by the network, the difference being down to the time it takes us to notice the latest deployments are now live, and in some cases we suspect that Openreach data may include premises where the intention is to bring native FTTP, but the roll-out has hit a delay while the majority of others in the area are already able to order.