The Universal Service Commitment in the UK has made it possible for nearly all denizens to adopt faster broadband speeds. According to its Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2013, 83% of households had internet access and 42% of households had a fiber optic connection. Now Openreach has launched a new program that can potentially accelerate the adoption of high-speed internet, especially in rural areas.

Because fiber optic deployment can be intrusive and evasive, Openreach has offered a novel solution that can possibly help VDSL2 users who are located far away from their street cabinets access higher speeds.

Openreach has given Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) a new method of providing their customers fiber-based broadband. With Generic Ethernet Access over Fiber to the Cabinet (GEA-FTTC), ISP’s can now develop broadband plans with higher bandwidth speeds. The program is only available in selected areas, with planned development around rural areas that don’t yet have access to the high-speed internet. predicts that “ADSL2+ with appropriate power masking may be deployed from the Openreach street cabinets alongside the existing VDSL2 services. Indications are that a maximum speed of 12 Mbps down (1.4 Mbps upload) would be used, and this should benefit those who are more than 2 km from the cabinet.” On the other hand, “VDSL2 should provide 24 Mbps or faster at a line length of 1km, but speeds drop away fairly quickly after that, while ADSL+ will generally manage 6 to 8 Mbps over lines as long as 3.5km and should keep running all the way to 5.5km at speeds above 2Mbps.

Openreach will enable Internet Service Providers to provide superfast broadband (SFBB) “with up to 80Mbit/s download.”

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