BT is to trial cutting-edge broadband access technology from Huawei as it takes the next step on its journey to full fiber-to-the-home (FTTH).
The technology in question is G.fast, an emerging ITU standard technology (G.9700) that promises speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s over the copper connection to a broadband user's premises.
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) noted recently that it would be scoping out the potential of G.fast as part of its fiber-to-the-distribution point (FTTdp) plans: FTTdp is the next step on from FTTC, taking the physical fiber even closer to the end user but still utilizing the copper tails already in place.
The British incumbent outlined its fixed-broadband plans at the recent ECOC conference in London, noting that the next step on from its current widespread fiber-to-the-curb/cabinet (FTTC) rollout would be fiber-to-the-distribution point (FTTdp), which takes its physical fiber plant even closer to end users. (See BT Preps Its Next FTTx, Core Moves.)
Like in Monty Python's Holy Grail, copper claims: "I'm not dead... I'm getting better ! " - but don't forget Opex in the equation.
Multiple technologies deployed through a network inevitably mean duplication of management systems -- simple networks are easier and cheaper to manage, requiring smaller NetOps departments, less reliant on the support of multiple vendors, or the knowledge of many specialist in-house engineers. There's also the requirement to maintain multiple networks over the long term, and also potentially very large electricity charges at every location where there is active equipment that cannot be line-powered.