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BT fuses fixed and mobile connections to boost copper speeds

BT Hybrid Speed Boost

UK telco group BT says a new technology can double download speeds and make upload speeds ten times faster on average for businesses which are not able to upgrade to fibre broadband.

BT claims its Hybrid Speed Boost is the first product in the UK to combine a copper broadband line with a 4G network which provides an automatic uplift in speeds, apparently by bonding connections from the broadband and mobile networks together.

BT says the upscaled connections provide an ‘average download speed boost of 20Mbps – more than twice the average download speed for copper broadband connections. Average upload speeds can be uplifted to 10Mbps – which is ten times the average upload speed for copper lines.’ Presumably the exact speed you’d get is dependent on factors such as how good 4G is in the area.

Why wouldn’t you just get fibre and leave even those upgraded speeds in the dust? This is being aimed at parts of the country which haven’t been hooked up to the full fibre network yet, so really its an interim measure until the pipes reach them.

This is apparently part of BT’s new ‘charter’ for business customers, which is basically a series of intentions regarding research investment and commitments to roll out new services in the future.

“Using cutting-edge technology, we’re launching the first product in the UK to fuse fixed and mobile connections together to bring faster speeds to small firms which might be struggling on slower copper lines,” said Chris Sims, BT’s MD for its SoHo (Single/Small Office, Home Office) unit, said While the Openreach full fibre network is expanding at pace, week on week, we understand the frustration of small firms who risk being stuck behind as they wait to hear when ultrafast full fibre broadband will come to them.

“Fast, reliable broadband is vital for the smooth, day to day running of a business, so we’ve taken action today to boost speeds for business taking copper broadband – at no extra cost. Hybrid Speed Boost could revolutionise operations for small businesses that may currently be struggling with the required bandwidth to process large files, access cloud services or use HD video.”

The UK fibre rollout is in full swing with plenty of deployment and investment money sloshing around. Just today Freedom Fibre announced it has secured £100 million in scale-up funding, and there have been a flurry of similar stories in recent months as investors seem keen on getting involved. But obviously all that’s not much good to you if you have set up your stall somewhere the fibre network hasn’t got to yet – so for those that find themselves in that boat, this is bound to be a welcome innovation.

 

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