Advanced Television

Broadband Forum: 42 Gfast certifications

January 31, 2019

Broadband Forum has revealed that there are now 42 certified-interoperable Gfast solutions for the 106MHz profile, as a new Gfast Market Update highlights the growing popularity of the technology among operators looking to deploy cost-effective last mile connectivity over existing copper lines.

In the Market Update – Service Providers Leveraging Gfast to Complement Fiber Optic Infrastructure – Broadband Forum confirms a notable increase in the scope and scale of Gfast deployments. Driving this proliferation is the practice among operators of using Gfast to complement their fibre build-outs, where they are finding the technology well-suited for both Fiber-to-the-Curb (FTTC) and Fiber-to-the-Building (FTTB).

An example highlighted in the Market Update is BT Openreach, which is committed to deploy Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) to 3 million UK premises and pass around 10 million homes with Gfast by 2021. This will enable the operator to offer 330Mbps services over its current FTTC network by upgrading the equipment in the cabinet. Other operators using Gfast cited in the Market Update include Orange, SandyNet, Frontier, Post Luxembourg, Swisscom, Skywire Networks, and Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN).

“The adoption of Gfast has come a long way in a short space of time, and the next few months will see further significant advancements, particularly in standardisation and certification as operators start to deploy 212 MHz Gfast technology,” said Geoff Burke, Chief Marketing Officer at the Broadband Forum. “The deployments referred to in the Market Update show that operators see the technology as a powerful and compelling complement to fibre and a lucrative way to bring high speed broadband networks to areas where it is not cost-effective to deploy Fiber-to-the-Home. The fact that this coincides with the continued growth of our certification program is no coincidence, with the certifications ensuring interoperability that inspires industry confidence and leads to mass deployment.”

As operators continue to upgrade their infrastructure to meet rising consumer demand, the Market Update emphasises that Gfast will continue to be crucial, especially for brownfield locations, where universal fibre deployment can be problematic and costly.

According to the Market Update, the future of Gfast technology continues to burn bright, with products capable of delivering broadband speeds of up to 2Gbps available on the market today and future enhancements currently undergoing standardisation expected to extend this up to 10Gbps.

“The significant bandwidth and reach advantages of fibre will continue to make it the access technology of choice where it can be installed cost effectively, but Gfast has a key role to play as it allows them to offer the same service levels,” said Kevin Foster, Head of Broadband Technical Standards and Ecosystems Architecture & Strategy at BT, and Chairman of the Broadband Forum. “Today’s Gfast offerings and the ongoing standardization work are ensuring that operators have a viable solution to the portions of their network where it is impractical to install full-fibre.”

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