Faster broadband but copper wiring can stay

Ofcom has made it clear that it is going to need investment to get Britain's broadband up to speed.

So far, we've had speeds of 100Mbps promised by H2O Networks, which is bringing new networks currently to Dundee, using the city's sewer system.

Then in July, BT announces a £1.5bn investment with plans for super-fast broadband at up to 1000Mbps (though most people will get 100Mbps).

Now, however, Ofcom is saying that ISPs could use the current copper system to deliver faster broadband - which would obviously cost a lot less than having to update the network.

In a new report, Ofcom says that "in theory" everyone could get 50Mbps internet connections.

Its researchers found that internet speeds could be boosted if the upstream modem was hosted in the exchange.

They found that this could increase speeds for all houses within a 2km radius - which is 18% of UK households.

And the number of homes could be increased further if the modem was moved into the street cabinet.

Ofcom did add, however, that the wiring in different houses varies massively and so, among many other factors, can affect broadband speeds.

It concluded: "Nevertheless, the real value of this study is to suggest an upper limit, given all technical progress possible, of 50Mbit/s, with fibre to the cabinet".


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