When will Gigabit Internet be available in the UK?
4 · FEB ·2015
For many, the prospect of gigabit Internet speeds in the UK is unrealistic as in certain rural areas even regular broadband connections are not available. However, this has not stopped some of the largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the world pushing forward with gigabit Internet technology. In fact, in certain areas it is now possible to purchase connectivity products that promise speeds of up to 1Gb; however do these products actually deliver?
UK Internet Speeds
Here in the UK we are all too aware of the issue presented by certain ISPs who promise customers certain download and upload speeds that are then not delivered. This issue is tackled by ISPs by claiming that these speeds are the maximum available and that they are not necessarily what customers will receive. This doesn’t fill many with hope when it comes to the future of gigabit Internet, however broadband providers are seemingly undeterred.
For example, the controversial broadband supplier BT has recently announced that they will soon be piloting “G.fast” technology, which despite the name will only offer customers speeds of up to 500Mbps. CEO of the company, Gavin Patterson, even claimed that they aim to have this ultra-fast broadband available across the UK within the next decade.
Mr Patterson added: "The U.K. is ahead of its major European neighbors when it comes to broadband and we need to stay ahead as customer demands evolve. G.fast will allow us to do that by building on the investment we have made in fiber to date. It will transform the U.K. broadband landscape from superfast to ultrafast in the quickest possible timeframe."
"We believe G.fast is the key to unlocking ultrafast speeds and we are prepared to upgrade large parts of our network should the pilots prove successful. That upgrade will depend, however, on their continuing to be a stable regulatory environment that supports investment."
Across the pond Google has also been making headlines with its plans for ultra-fast broadband as it stated that it will continue to expand its Google Fiber program to eighteen cities in the Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh-Durham areas. In a blog post, Google Fiber vice president Dennis Kish said: "We can't wait to see what people and businesses across the southeast US do with gigabit speeds. Today, we aren't the only ones talking about gigabit broadband. From the White House to main street, a chorus of new voices is standing up for speed."
Kish’s comments come at a time where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US are changing the definition of “broadband” to products that offer speeds of 25Mbps for downloads and 3Mbps for uploads. Previously, ISPs only had to offer their customers download speeds of 4Mbps and upload speeds of 1Mbps in order to classify their products as “broadband”, which is why many are against the move.
Fluidata's Superfast Broadband
Even though it may seem like gigabit Internet is years away from being implemented here in the UK, the truth is that back in 2012 Fluidata announced that along with Independent Fibre Networks Limited (IFNL), which is part of the Inexus Group of Companies, we were bringing superfast broadband to over 50,000 properties in the UK.
Speaking in 2012, Andrew Robinson from IFNL, told us: “As part of the Inexus Group of companies, IFNL is focused on providing the very best services to our connected businesses and homes. We’re excited to be working with Fluidata as this will help to increase retail competition on our network and ensure our customers have great choice and receive best value as well as superfast speeds.”
Even though a number of well-known ISPs in the UK are currently claiming that gigabit Internet will not be available in the near future, the truth is that a number of specialist companies such as Fluidata and IFNL are able to offer these services now. Therefore, the question is: what is holding everyone else back?