Gigabit capabilities 'coming faster than expected', report finds

Gigabit capabilities 'coming faster than expected', report finds

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The deployment of gigabit-capable connectivity technology is set to pick up substantially around the world in the coming year, with the pace of this growth occurring far faster than many previous forecasts have predicted.

This is according to research by Rethink Technology Research, which forecast that by 2023, the number of users subscribing to such services will grow tenfold.

Currently, only a small percentage of people in the UK have access to 1Gbps speeds through fibre-to-the-premises services, and those that are able to access it can expect to pay a significant premium, which acts as a key barrier to uptake. 

However, the research suggested than by the end of the forecast period, the price issue will have all but disappeared as 1Gbps connections become viewed as a standard option.

"Concentrations of 1Gbps broadband will grow from three to four per cent of homes in most countries to well above 30 per cent on average," the report stated.

The firm added that "fibre has become king" for more installations, with most countries moving from away from broadband upgrades that use existing copper, instead adopting 
a fibre-first approach and looking after ADSL technology upgrades later. 

Indeed, it noted that as fibre connectivity picks up momentum, the window of opportunity for technologies that aim to increase the capabilities of legacy copper infrastructure, such as G.fast, G.Now and MoCA Access is closing, as more developments opt for fibre direct to the home or apartment. 

There will, however, be a vast difference around the world in how quickly deployments of 1Gbps connectivity become a reality. For instance, China is set to lead the way, with Rethink Technology Research forecasting that 42 per cent of the country's 465 million homes will subscribe to such services by 2023.

The UK, however, is described as a "laggard" in terms of the percentage of homes that will be signed up to this technology. 

"Globally over the next five years, 1Gbps lines will rise to make up 31 per cent of all broadband, but if you include fibre at lower speeds, it could be as much as 60 per cent", the report continued. 

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