Copper broadband speeds could hit 50Mb/s

Copper broadband speeds could hit 50Mb/s

August 19, 2016

An investigation by Ofcom has discovered that in theory the UK’s current network of copper telephone cables is capable of delivering broadband speeds of up to 50Mbits per second.

Ofcom wanted to find out when the current copper network would be unlikely to meet the expectations of the majority of UK consumers, and so commissioned a study into copper broadband.

Speeds of 50Mb/s are possible in theory if an upstream modem is hosted in the exchange.

However, in practice speeds are likely to be lower as the quality of wiring varies greatly from household to household.

If BT confirm the results of the investigation, then plans to install a UK-wide fibre optic network could be significantly delayed.

Achieving speeds of 50Mb/s in every UK household would require upstream modems to be installed at the end of every street.

This would be extremely costly, and could be seen as a misuse of development funding.

Some commentators fear that Ofcom’s findings could be used to halt UK investment in a fibre optic network, leading to the UK falling behind the rest of Europe.

Tim Yeo

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