Openreach set to trial symmetric gigabit connections

Openreach set to trial symmetric gigabit connections

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Infrastructure provider Openreach is set to launch a new trial that aims to deliver fully symmetric gigabit-capable broadband connections.

While some other providers already offer parity between download and upload speeds on their fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) offerings, Openreach's top tiers still only deliver asymmetric speeds, ISPReview.co.uk reports.

For the firm's 1Gbps download tier, this means upload speeds of 220Mbps, while its 500Mbps download tier features 165Mbps upload performance.

However, the company is now looking to change this in order to better compete with alternative providers, with a new pilot scheme that aims to gauge market demand for the service.

It is expected to be targeted at small business users that have increasing demands for fast upload performance as they look to share large files with partners and customers, as well as  take full advantage of cloud computing offerings.

ISPReview.co.uk added it expects the new packages to be more expensive than the existing asymmetric offerings, while it also noted the effectiveness of the trial is likely to be impacted by the fact that customers will only have a limited choice of internet service providers, with just two companies offering services using Openreach's 1Gbps and 500Mbps FTTP tiers.

However, with Openreach set to be responsible for a significant part of the UK's full fibre network in the coming years, the ability to offer symmetric speeds is likely to be increasingly important as the demands of business users grow.

Indeed, Openreach is currently aiming to reach four million premises with FTTP by March 2020, before going on to connect 15 million homes and businesses by 2025.

This is not the only trial the firm is undertaking as it looks to enhance its full fibre offerings. ISPReview.co.uk also noted Openreach is working on a new 'inside out' approach to deployments, which will be tested on orders in brownfield areas. 

It will see engineers complete in-home installations on the morning of the appointment, prior to the exterior work being completed. This is expected to be more efficient and more convenient for the home owner if delays affect the external work.

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