BT to test G.fast ultrafast broadband in Swansea

BT has established a G.fast lab at its Swansea office and is to begin testing ultrafast broadband in the city.

The test, based on the G.fast standard and incorporating technology supplied by Alcatel-Lucent, will provide 100 Swansea premises with 500Mbps broadband.

Such broadband – capable of maintaining speeds up to 1Gbps – could eventually expand to the whole of the UK within the next decade and become available to consumers as well as businesses.

Swansea’s BT Tower will also become home to a new test lab dedicated to the standard and ultrafast broadband, in general.

It’ll be open to academic researchers, start-ups and communications providers looking to test out technologies that could take advantage of G.fast.

Mike Galvin, managing director of service, strategy and operations at BT, said: “BT’s research into ultrafast G.fast technology is now moving out of the labs and into the field.

“Wales is an excellent location to trial cutting-edge new broadband technologies, and we’re delighted that the Welsh Government and The City of Swansea will play such a key role.

“This partnership further enables BT to deploy and validate the next generation of multi-media business and consumer communications capabilities – capabilities that will ultimately benefit the entire UK and ensure our communications services remain among the best in the world. Our technical trial will allow us to evaluate the best way of delivering ultrafast speeds to flats and business premises nationwide.”

Edwina Hart, Welsh Government economy minister, said: “Wales has a strong record of innovation and a thriving technology sector so it is appropriate Swansea has been selected for this trial of the next generation of broadband.

“Among a range of other initiatives we have put in place to support growth in the digital economy we are already working with BT to roll-out Superfast Broadband to homes and businesses across Wales. Ultrafast broadband could eventually deliver even more benefits to drive economic growth and create jobs.”

Sir Terry Matthews, Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Region Board, added: “I welcome this important news. Communications is one of the fastest growing industry sectors in the world.

“I am particularly pleased with the alignment this decision has with a new Computational Foundry being implemented at the University of Swansea.

“The combination creates a platform for the emergence of a new high-tech ecosystem in the Region, one that is sure to spawn a range of innovative new start-up companies, technologies, products and services. ”