What is GFast and how does it work?
In simple terms, GFast is the newest and fastest broadband that is currently available, basically it is an improved version of Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). This means that the end user can achieve speeds up to four times faster than traditional FTTC broadband. Current maximum speeds are up to 80mb download, GFast increases this to up to a potential 330mb download. Previously the only way to get faster broadband speeds was to get a Fibre to the Property (FTTP) connection but this isn’t available in all areas, so this is where GFast can help. (Note that this doesn’t include carriers that don’t use BT Openreach or BT Wholesale, E.G. Virgin Media)
GFast allows users to get these higher speeds by utilising the current FTTC infrastructure. FTTC works by a fibre cable transmitting broadband from your local exchange to the closest BT street cabinet. A copper cable is then used to transfer the fibre broadband from the local BT cabinet to the property.
GFast works in a very similar way but with a special pod which is fitted to the side of the BT cabinet. This special pod increases the speed through the copper cable which results in a more reliable broadband with ultrafast speeds.
What is the difference between Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) & Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)
FTTP is where there is a fibre optic cable that is present the full distance from the local BT exchange all the way to the property. The connection bypasses the local BT cabinet and goes straight from the exchange to the property. As it is a pure fibre optic connection all the way this allows for much faster speeds. In theory, FTTP speeds can reach a maximum of 1000Mb but in reality the current maximum is around 350Mb with a 50Mb upload.
FTTC services only have fibre optic cable to the local BT cabinet. The rest of the journey is through a copper wire phone line which cannot provide speeds as fast and can also degrade with age. The result is much lower speeds than FTTP with a maximum of 80Mb download and 20Mb upload.
Where is GFast available?
At the moment GFast is only available in some locations. To see if you can benefit from GFast, contact us. BT are aiming for “most of the UK” to to be able to reach speeds of up to 500Mbps within 10 years and for GFast to be available to over 10 million homes by the end of 2020. GFast has already benefited over one million homes and will allow millions of more properties to get ultrafast broadband speeds with minimal disruption. This is because there is no need to insert new cables between buildings.
Can I get GFast now?
If you are interested in GFast and would like to see if you can benefit from higher internet speeds, then contact us. We are able to check if GFast is available in your area and will be able to offer you some competitive quotes. If you wish to read more about FTTC and FTTP then visit our web page by clicking here.
You can also use the Openreach GFast checker to check if GFast is available in your area. BT are working hard to ensure the availability of GFast is increased and are aiming to soon allow most of the UK to reach higher broadband speeds.