London’s burning with “fastest ever” broadband

In a partnership between Alcatel-Lucent and BT, speeds of 1.4 terabits per second were recorded during their joint testing on a 410km (255 mile) link between BT’s Tower in Central London and Ipswich.

Whilst it may be some time before consumers get to see the fruits of the companies’ efforts; it marks a breakthrough moment for ISPs.

Only yesterday, TelecomsTech reported on LTE-Advanced speeds reaching up to 300Mbps – making cabled connections look pitiful in their average of 14.7Mbps; over 20x slower.

As internet usage becomes ever more prevalent, and ISPs suffer under increased demand for capacity and faster speeds - these providers will be thankful of such advancements. But wiith upgrades, comes a generally unfathomable cost. This breakthrough, however, means more data can be sent over existing infrastructure – saving on such investment which can be used elsewhere.

Oliver Johnson, chief executive of broadband analyst firm Point Topic, says: “BT and Alcatel-Lucent are making more from what they've got. It allows them to increase their capacity without having to spend much more money.”

Year-on-year the demand for higher bandwidth grows by around 35%. With an era of connected devices and the widespread uptake of the “Internet of Things” predicted, this bandwidth requirement is only set to increase dramatically.

Adrian Baschnonga, Lead Analyst for Global Telecommunications at EY, says: “This test will reassure broadband providers that there is no ceiling on future performance levels of current infrastructure.

However, EY research shows that customer awareness and appetite for ever faster speeds is not a given. 66% of UK households believe that the reliability of their broadband connection is more important than broadband speed, while 39% of consumers don’t even know the maximum advertised speed of their current broadband connection.”

Certain scenarios of course require the use of higher-speeds. As more and more users turn to HD streaming on Netflix (who let’s remember is soon launching 4K…) or similar services, and gamers games of over 50GB are being downloaded - demand for speed will become just as important.

Whilst today the average user can just about stream HD content; users benefitting from this new 1.4Tbps upgrade could potentially stream 44 movies at once.

What do you think about the new upgrades being tested in London?

To learn more about the Internet of Things visit IoT Tech Expo Europe in London's Olympia, 2-3 December, 2015. 

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