Viavi Solutions has announced that Openreach, BT’s local network business, has selected the OneExpert 580 xDSL field tester to support its G.fast pilot that will see ultrafast speeds provided to around 140,000 premises by March 2017.
G.fast technology allows delivery of ultrafast speeds over traditional copper telephone cables. Assuming the pilot is successful, Openreach plans to deploy the technology over existing fibre-to-the-cabinet lines to reach 10 million premises by 2020 (see BT puts G.fast at the heart of its broadband strategy).
Viavi has previously supplied more than 15,000 units to Openreach, enabling technicians to efficiently install and repair broadband services. The companies have also collaborated to enhance test procedures by adding StrataSync cloud-based asset and data management, as well as support for smartphone-based apps to facilitate technician workflow.
Back in June, Viavi announced a G.fast/V35b module for the OneExpert field tester product line with support for testing the Broadcom G.fast chipset. The module offers a simple field upgrade that gives operators the ability to test the latest technologies while also reducing the total cost of test.
Commenting on the announcement, Peter Bell, director network portfolio and NGA operations, Openreach, said: “We’re working with a number of leading suppliers and Viavi will help us to make sure we’re able to test and verify our network to a high standard. G.fast builds on our existing investment in fibre and we’re moving forward with our pilot which will see us bringing ultrafast speeds to around 140,000 premises across 17 locations by the end of March 2017.”
A number of companies have benefitted from Openreach’s G.fast plans to date. Huawei and Nokia will supply switches, modems and street cabinet ‘side pods’ to support the broader G.fast roll-out (see Huawei and Nokia selected for BT Openreach G.fast roll-out). EXFO has also supplied xDSL handheld test sets to assist Openreach with its G.fast pilot (see EXFO MaxTester 635G selected for Openreach G.fast pilot).