A G.fast test lab has been opened up by BT at its Swansea office, to test out ultra-fast broadband.
G.fast is a digital subscriber line standard DSL for short local loops, which has been thought to be the next stepping stone fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-to-the-home.
Even though it is still in its initial stages, the standard promises to deliver speeds of between 150Mbps and 1Gbps and has already performed faster in laboratory conditions.
As part of the next stage of its national commercial broadband plan at the start of 2015, BT is committing to G.fast, saying it wanted to provide 500Mbps and broadband to the majority of the UK population by 2025.
Alcatel-lucent will supply the technology for the Swansea trail, which will focus on how G.fast will be used to serve blocks of flats and business premises – which are often harder to reach than single-occupancy homes.
Based on a number of technical criteria, around 100 properties in the city will be connected to the service.
BT will also set up a test lab space in its Swansea offices, which will enable startups, academic researchers and communication providers to test out technologies that could take advantage of G.fast speeds.
Chair of the Swansea Bay City Region Board Terry Matthews said: “The combination creates a platform for the emergence of a high-tech ecosystem in the region, one sure to spawn a range of innovative startup companies, technologies, products and services.”
Edwina Hart, Welsh Government economy minister added: “The combination creates a platform for the emergence of a high-tech ecosystem in the region, one sure to spawn a range of innovative startup companies, technologies, products and services.
“Wales has a strong record of innovation and a thriving technology sector, so it is appropriate Swansea has been selected for this trial of the next generation of broadband.
“Amongst a range of other initiatives we have put in place to support growth in the digital economy, we are working with BT to roll out superfast broadband to homes and businesses across Wales.
“Ultrafast broadband could eventually deliver even more benefits to drive economic growth and create jobs.”