British wholesale incumbent Openreach increased its minimum download speed for Gfast products to 120 Mbps from 100 Mbps, putting it in line with baseline industry standards. The commonsense decision should simplify adoption of this technology by operators looking to extend the life of their copper infrastructure before they deploy fiber.
"The purpose of the change is to improve customer experience and create more certainty for [communication providers] when selling lines at the edge of the service," Openreach wrote in a briefing to operators.
This revision helps service providers better plan for their future fiber infrastructure investments, Ronan Kelly, Chief Technology Officer, EMEA and APAC at ADTRAN, told Broadband World News via email. Openreach faces growing competition from other wholesalers, including CityFibre and MS3 Networks, which are rolling out full-fiber infrastructure across the UK.
"Gfast as a gigabit fiber extension technology allows service providers to more rapidly monetize their fiber investment by reaching more customers with differentiated gigabit services, when deployed as originally intended. With all the momentum amongst the UK altnets, deploying 10G FTTH technology to support and scale their business and residential gigabit and multi-gigabit services -- plus Openreach's own FTTH plans -- this move will represent some welcome relief while consumers await their fiber connection," Kelly said. "In short, we believe gigabit service delivery is more in line with the EU commissionís broadband goals of the Gigabit Society."
Openreach will provide a full update at this month's Copper & Fibre Products Commercial Group (CFPCG) meeting, it said.
Vendors already incorporate chips with Amendment 3 features from developers such as Broadcom and Sckipio. The ITU-T Gfast standard doubles spectrum to 212 MHz and can deliver aggregate bandwidth of 2 Gbps. It coexists with VDSL2 services and supports dynamic time assignment (DTA), symmetric gigabit speeds and additional deployment flexibility, according to Heavy Reading's report, "Gfast Rollout Starts with Amendment 3."
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.