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In Touch
More towns and cities set to pilot ultrafast which is vital for new homes
Openreach has announced a further 26 UK locations to pilot the latest ultrafast broadband

Gfast engineer

The latest pilots, based on G.fast, are part of the national rollout of ultrafast broadband to 12 million homes and businesses by 2020. Download speeds of up to 330Mbps – around ten times the UK average – will be available to thousands of people in these areas later this year. It brings the total number of UK premises able to take part in the early stages of Openreach’s G.fast rollout to more than 500,000. The rollout is expected to reach a million premises by the end of the year.

Peter Bell, Director, Network Solutions & Operations said: “G.fast is the key to unlocking ultrafast speeds for millions of people across the UK in the next few years. The UK is ahead of its major European neighbours when it comes to broadband and we’re doing everything we can to anticipate and meet changing customer demands. The development of G.fast is a key part of moving the UK from superfast to ultrafast broadband speeds as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Early trials of G.fast have taken place in Cambridgeshire, Newcastle and South Wales. A further 20 pilot schemes are already underway in different parts of the country. You can read more about the latest locations in the regional news sections of In Touch.

Access to ultrafast broadband is now a key attraction for new home buyers

Developer Berkeley Group says it’s almost as important to people as running water and electricity. Openreach is partnering with Berkeley in a nationwide scheme to connect new housing developments in the UK with fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology. Launched in February last year, the scheme is now free for developments of just 30 homes or more.

So far, Openreach has worked with developers to provide free FTTP infrastructure to more than 586,000 premises across 2,400 developments. And many more are expected to register over the coming months. Kim Mears, Managing Director Infrastructure Delivery, Openreach said: “We’re investing heavily in ultrafast broadband because we’re committed to giving the UK a first-class network capable of delivering the very latest communication services for households and businesses. We know people are passionate about the speed and reliability of the broadband service their communications provider can offer them. And for some, the availability of ultrafast speeds will strongly influence their decision on which new property to buy.”

Berkeley Group chief executive Rob Perrins says: “If we weren’t able to offer fibre I think there would be the real prospect of some people walking away from property sales."