British telco incumbent BT intends to kick off two large-scale pilots of the G.fast digital subscriber line, with the aim of delivering 500 megabit per-second broadband over copper to customers within a decade.
Around 4000 homes and businesses will be invited to take part in two trials in Cambridgeshire and Newcastle this northern summer, BT chief executive Gavin Patterson announced last week.
Initial speeds will be "a few hundred megabits per second" until 2020, increasing to 500Mbps as further industry standards are secured and new kit is developed, the telco said.
If the pilots are sucessful, BT expects deployment of G.fast delivered broadband to start in 2016-17.
G.fast - which was ratified by the International Telecommunications Union last year combines technologies such as vectoring, pair bonding and phantom mode to cancel out interference, and to increase the signal bandwidth and reach needed to boost performance.
A 1Gbps service will be delivered with fibre-optic connections to premises, BT said.
“BT is a world leader when it comes to fibre innovation and we are excited about the next stage in our story,” Patterson said.
“We believe G.fast is the key to unlocking ultrafast speeds and we are prepared to upgrade large parts of our network should the pilots prove successful," he added.
Field trials conducted by BT saw G.fast via fibre to the node cabinets reach 786Mbps downloads and 231Mbps uploads on short, 19 metre wires; on longer, 66 metre copper wires, the speeds reached were 696/200Mbps.