In spite of heavy pressure to raise its fibre game, BT’s supposedly autonomous wholesale unit Openreach has proudly unveiled a major extension of its Gfast programme.
Referring to its as ‘cutting edge technology’, Openreach announced it’s adding 59 new locations to the 46 already served by Gfast, which extracts improved performance from legacy copper cables. Apparently this will help to ‘reinforce the UK’s position as the leading digital economy in the G20.’
“Britons are using their home broadband connections more than ever – consuming more than double the amount of data than they did just three years ago,” advised Kim Mears, MD for Strategic Infrastructure Development at Openreach. “A mass of new apps and services which demand higher quality broadband connections are becoming parts of our daily lives in our homes and at work – like virtual and augmented reality and more sophisticated online gaming, education and healthcare. That’s why we’re making this huge investment in upgrading the network, to make sure we stay a step ahead of that demand.”
The Openreach spin on Gfast is that it enables more of the country to get faster broadband speeds more quickly than if we just sat and waited for the fibre-to-the-premise rollout to run its course. Having said that Openreach was also quick to stress how totally into fibre it still is and to restate its vague ‘10 million premises by the mid-2020s’ pledge.
Here’s the full list of places that will live the Gfast dream by some unspecified date: Aberdeen Denburn, Acocks Green, Altrincham, Aylesbury, Bedford, Birmingham Central, Bishops Stortford, Boscombe, Bowes Park, Bury St. Edmunds, Bury, Byfleet, Cardiff, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Chester, Cosham, Didsbury, Erdington, Gipsy Hill, Guildford, Hampton, Harlow, Harrogate, Headingley, Heywood, Kingston, Lancaster, Leamington Spa, Leeds, Llantrisant, Maidstone, Market Harborough, Mile End, Morley, Narborough, North Finchley, Paignton, Plymouth, Rugby, Shipley, Slough, South Kensington, Southampton, Southend Town, St Albans, Stockton Heath, Swadlincote, Tamworth, Taunton, Telford Wellington, Tunbridge Wells, Walthamstow, Weston Super Mare, Windsor, Wolverhampton, Woodhouse (Berkshire), Woodley, York.