BT has launched the first ever “real world” trial of a 10Gbps broadband network at Cornwall-based engineering firm Arcol.
The proof-of-concept trial uses new fibre technology called XGPON (Tens of Gibabits on a Passive Optical Network) developed by electronics company ZTE, in partnership with BT Openreach.
Arcol is connected by a direct fibre link from its offices to BT’s exchange in Truro. It is the first business in the country to experience so-called “hyper-fast” broadband, with more bandwidth available than was used at the highest peak for the entire Olympics media network.
The 10Gbps service runs in tandem with the company’s existing 330Mbps service, which was established by the Superfast Cornwall Programme – a partnership between the EU, BT and Cornwall Council.
“What is exciting about this trial is that these hyper-fast speeds have been obtained over the exactly the same fibre that carries BT’s fibre broadband services today. All we are doing is changing the electronics at either end,” said Ranulf Scarbrough, programme director for the Superfast Cornwall programme.
Potential speeds are so fast that the physical limits of the networking and computer equipment prevent the line from being used at its maximum capacity, according to BT.
Arcol has no current plans to deploy the technology but Alun Morgan, technical director at Arcol, said the ability to connect at such fast speeds was “opening the door” for the company to achieve much more.
“We are still only just discovering the sorts of things we can do with these speeds, such as taking advantage of services like videoconferencing and using a cloud-based ERP system so we can access this information elsewhere, and it has enabled us to be much more efficient and aggressive,” said Morgan.