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Faster Broadband Speeds To Have Limitations

As the UK rejoices at the prospect of faster broadband speeds up to 100Mbps, the Managing Director of Commercial Ventures at Quintain Estates has warned that there could be speed limitations.
Quintain Estates has recently built the Wembley City development in London which offers tenants fibre optic broadband speeds of up to 32Mbps. Known as Velocity1, there is also the option for residents to increase their speeds to 100Mbps for £1 per 30 minutes.

James Saunders, Quintain’s Managing Director, said it had good reasons for not offering the top line 100Mbps speed to the homes. He said, “The market’s not really geared up yet for 100Mbps in a residential context”. There are a lot of servers that are tuned to the market norm of 4 to 8 Mbps.”

He also warned that there were limitations to the wider broadband infrastructure that were beyond the control of net providers that could dent expectations of what that faster speed could deliver.”

Of the limitations, Saunders said, “What we can’t control is the speed that other people can serve content that you can download from their servers.”

The high speed benefits of fibre optic broadband will also be limited if the solution implemented is only fibre to the cabinet and not fibre to the home.

Fibre to the cabinet still relies upon old copper wires to pass the data to each home. These copper wires were originally developed to carry voice signals, but have been adapted to carry computer data too. Compared to the fibre optic networks to the home, they simply cannot handle the additional data and thus high speeds up to 100Mbps may be difficult to achieve.

BT recently said it was “not economically viable” to take fibre all the way into homes, although this may change depending upon demand and Government investment.

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