Broadband News

Openreach expands G.fast roll-out to 500,000 premises

The Openreach G.fast roll-out which is eventually intended to cover some ten million premises may now start to be more readily available as the news of the footprint growing to 500,000 premises has been released by Operneach. Hopefully this will encourage more retailers to make it available on an invite basis or fingers crossed a proper retail product.

The roll-out was at a notional 100,000 premises last week and the latest announcement apparently brings that to 500,000 premises, and explains the wave of pod sightings around the UK (not all sightings were G.fast pods some were street cabinet extensions - the airvents on G.fast pods is the key distinguishing factor). The half a million is set to increase to one million by the end of the year too, suggesting a lot of staff attaching the pods and connecting power and fibre from the nearby VDSL2 cabinet.

G.fast for is being sold at two main speed points currently, up to 160 Mbps and up to 330 Mbps (with a 50 Mbps upload on the 330 Mbps service) and as its DSL based the speeds do drop off over distance and Openreach will not sell the service on a line estimated to get under 100 Mbps. On our guide to How Broadband Works there is a G.fast section that includes an idea of the distance versus speed battle, the G.fast table was added in anticipation of the roll-out speeding up.

The 26 new locations around the UK that are set to get the ultrafast service are:

  • Armley
  • Bath Kingsmead
  • Bishops Stortford
  • Brierley Hill
  • Brighton Hove
  • Chorlton
  • Eltham
  • Glasgow Bridgeton
  • Glasgow Douglas
  • Great Barr
  • Hammersmith
  • Hemel Hempstead
  • High Wycombe
  • Hunslet
  • Kidbrooke
  • Liverpool Central
  • Lofthouse Gate
  • Manchester East
  • Mansfield
  • Northern, Birmingham
  • Parsons Green
  • Portsmouth North End
  • Pudsey
  • Rochdale
  • Wandsworth
  • Whitchurch, South Glamorgan

We have started the generation of a new map layer so that people can easily see where we know that G.fast is live and while our count of 38,500 premises with access at over 100 Mbps is well below the 100,000 figure of the PR material this is thought to be down to the fact that we have concentrated more on tracking the VDSL2 and FTTP roll-outs. Clearly if the roll-out has expanded to 500,000 premises actually able to order we should start to spot those cabinets as people start upgrading to the faster service.

While current G.fast roll-out is giving those who already have the best VDSL2 speeds the choice of a faster speed and will anger those who still have bad speeds, but as this roll-out is not funded with any public money Openreach is free to do as it wishes with the framework Ofcom runs. The political pressure is shifting from a focus on superfast to ultrafast especially and therefore it makes sense to get an idea of how popular faster options are amongst those who already have the fastest superfast broadband speeds and if the financials stackup there is nothing to stop Openreach rolling out FTTP to areas where G.fast cannot currently provider ultrafast speeds and with a target of two million FTTP premises from Openreach by 2020 it it possible.

Comments

Would G.Fast improve 500m+ lines at all?

  • DrMikeHuntHurtz
  • 3 months ago

Great Kidbrooke is on the list! Please let Kidbrooke PCP 2 cabinet be enabled for G.fast. We're stuck with no VDSL, just ADSL at 3Mbps, maybe this can help.

  • jacko0
  • 3 months ago

@DrMikeHuntHurtz: It's not likely to have improvements on 500m+ lines, more like the opposite will be the case compared to VDSL2. G.Fast is only good for very short lines.

  • JNeuhoff
  • 3 months ago

@jacko0 if the cab dosnt have FTTC then it wont get g.fast. The pod is powered from the FTTC cabinet and the fibre is fed through through it as well

  • ribble
  • 3 months ago

Range issues covered in https://www.thinkbroadband.com/how-broadband-works

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 3 months ago

In both houses I've owned, I find those range estimates bear little resemblance to my experience. I'm 370m (straight line) distance from my cabinet and 450m by the shortest possible cable route. TBB estimates about 8-9dB attenuation and perhaps 44mbps using the straight line measure. Yet I have 17.4dB DS attenuation syncing at 55000 with an achievable 68547 at 6dB target SNR.

My previous house (550m minimum cable length) had around 23db attenuation and synced at about 53mbps. (Home wiring optimised). TBB attenuation estimates seem to be too low yet so are speed estimates.

  • TheEulerID
  • 3 months ago

I should add that the BT estimator is a bit closer. In the old house it's 49.2mbps (clean) against 53mbps actual sync. On the new one,

Certainly in the former, where VDSL has been available for a long time and it's fairly densely populated, x-talk is fairly high as it original would sync at almost 60mbps. For the new house, the BT checker estimates 80mbps (clean), but 67 mbps (impacted). I assume my line is "impacted" as the stats show it could achieve 68mbps.

Of course this tells us nothing about g.fast behaviour.

  • TheEulerID
  • 3 months ago

The VDSL2 estimate is a pessimistic model as that is the safest option to adopt since we don't know in advance how high take-up will reach

So we do expect lots of people to exceed the figures particularly on the shorter lines.

Additionally the impact of G.INP and Vectoring has not been applied.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 3 months ago

@jacko0

Tried 4G ?

  • DrMikeHuntHurtz
  • 3 months ago

So is Openreach now focused on rolling out faster services such as G.Fast day into areas already passed with super fast such as VDSL?

Have they now stopped doing new rollouts I’m areas without coverage?

  • mlmclaren
  • 3 months ago

@mlmclaren No new roll-outs have not stopped, contracts with BDUK projects are still progressing, and commercial roll-out of FTTP seems to be starting up in various cities for those who were EO or cabinet never had VDSL2.

What is changing is the BDUK projects are not at the pace they were a year or two ago and thus more staff available to embark on this round of upgrades.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 3 months ago

BT's "superfast" rollouts (BDUK, VDSL2, some FTTP) are continuing - they passed an extra 300,000 premises last quarter. The same kind of rate they've been progressing for the 12 months before too.

As more counties start to reach agreements over spending the clawback, I'd expect BT to continue to add another million or so over the next 12-18 months. Then it'll slow with only a few projects left ongoing, but USO will kick in.

The other BDUK winners will be continuing to rollout too.

  • WWWombat
  • 3 months ago

Broadband Watchers.
By checking on TBB generated % results at 24 meg on U.K. And Local gives a good overview of the work being completed I have noticed that .01 is recorded over 2 Days on the UK results. You are looking at a target of 95% by the end of 95% Super Surrey is running at 96.70 % with some councils running below the 95% result my understanding is that no clawback money has been spent so far.

  • Blackmamba
  • 3 months ago

What about areas that don't have any BDUK type programs...

AFIAK it would be Birmingham City Council responsible for arranging funding (which is highly unlikely) at the moment the council not even capable of getting our refuse and recycling collected

  • mlmclaren
  • 3 months ago

London seems to have a "LEP" (London Extension Project) that is improving cabinets across London exchanges, which is outside BDUK.

I used to think that LEP had grabbed all of BT's "extra funding" meant for 30 cities, but I have seen the odd tantalising mention of cabinets being included in "Commercial Footprint (fibre cities)" phases, including at least one in Birmingham. There is hope for more...

I have also seen a few cabinets added in Birmingham in 2016 and 2017, and due next year.

However, it is a scattering. Not a lot is happening in Birmingham. Much better in Manchester.

  • WWWombat
  • 3 months ago

A lot of the centre of Leeds was left out, even from the BDUK project.

However, there looks to be a large amount now included in the SEP project, as well as a coupe of those "(fibre cities)" cabs too.

  • WWWombat
  • 3 months ago

Sorry but the claim that the standard PCP cabinets have nothing to do with G.Fast pods turns out to be utterly wrong. See the following photo of cabinet 42 on Glasgow Bridgeton http://small.buzzard.me.uk/stuff/20170822_092449.jpg The PCP extension was added a few weeks ago the G.Fast Pod appeared yesterday. Clearly some cabinets presumably if they are full require a PCP extension before they can take a G.Fast pod. The idea that the PCP extension in the photo is for some other reason fails Occam's razor I am afraid.

  • jabuzzard
  • 3 months ago

@jabuzzard
This is not the place to try to prove your point.

  • WWWombat
  • 3 months ago

Never mind ultra fast we are still getting by on 4.5 meg in our village in Cornwall fibre would be " real luxury "

  • tbirdbuzz
  • 3 months ago

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