BT Openreach has connected the first customer to its ultrafast broadband network which is theoretically capable of speeds of 5Gbps.
Its G.fast network is currently being trialled around the UK. Accountancy firm Temiz Book-Keeping Ltd has become its first commercial business customer in Kent.
Gillingham, where the firm is based, is one of the trial locations for the rollout, which will cover 140,000 properties by the end of March.
“All our client data is stored in the cloud. Having ultrafast speeds means we can download and upload that data instantly – however many client accounts we are working on at the same time,” said Mehmet Uzum, who runs the family owned business.
“Uploading heavy data files could take a couple of hours with the speeds we had before but now we can achieve the same in a matter of minutes – it is a big time saver.
“We are in the process of building a website for the business which will allow clients to log into their own accounts and use the book keeping facilities.
“We are also looking to open another office in London to help us attract new clients in the City and take on another partner so that we can offer an auditing service.
“It is a new and exciting time for us and having ultrafast broadband provides the platform to do all this on. It has given us the confidence to go ahead and invest in the future of the business.”
Most of the current superfast broadband connections in the UK are fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), which uses copper for the final few hundred metres. G.fast speeds up the copper cable to allow for the theoretical speed of 5Gbps.
The aim for the rollout is to achieve speeds of up to 330Mbps for ten million UK homes and businesses by 2020 alongside a separate fibre to the premise (FTTP) deployment covering two million.
Balham in South London and Upton Park have also been chosen for the trial, meaning G.fast will reach the capital for the first time. Overall, Openreach plans to deliver ultrafast speeds to the ‘majority of the UK’ by 2025.
BT has continued to invest in G.fast as an effective upgrade for Openreach’s copper infrastructure, believing that more people will benefit faster than just with FTTP alone.