Take-up of full fibre connectivity strong, but G.fast falls behind

Take-up of full fibre connectivity strong, but G.fast falls behind

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Interest in full fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connectivity appears to be strong among home and business users, with nearly one in three premises that have been connected to the technology making use of it, new figures have revealed.

The statistics come from BT Group's latest financial results, which showed that Openreach has now connected 2.6 million premises to superfast solutions, up from 1.97 million last year.

Of these, around 1.7 million are connected through hybrid G.fast technology, which is able to support download speeds of up to 330Mbps using a combination of fibre and existing copper cabling, while 893,000 homes and businesses now enjoy FTTP services that can exceed 1Gbps.

The results also revealed that 267,000 premises have signed up for packages that make use of FTTP technology, amounting to a take-up rate of 29.9 per cent.

This indicates that consumers and businesses are eager to make full use of ultrafast connectivity solutions as soon as they become available, which could bode well for the government's efforts to significantly ramp up deployments of full fibre solutions in the coming years. 

However, the results for G.fast technology were much less positive, as BT Group's figures showed just 0.88 per cent of premises that have the technology available choose to use it. Commenting, ISPReview.co.uk described this take-up rate as "abysmal for a service that will soon cover two million premises".

There are some caveats to this, however. The publication noted that at present, many people are not familiar with G.fast, as the service is not being strongly promoted by internet service providers.

Indeed, some of the UK's major networks, such as Sky Broadband, do not even offer packages that use this technology, while most major price comparison websites aren’t promoting any Openreach based FTTP or G.fast packages - though ISPReview.co.uk noted this is largely the fault of ISPs.

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