Ultrafast technology gives Swansea business competitive edge

Access to a new ultrafast broadband service is giving businesses in Swansea a competitive edge according to broadcast solutions provider Quicklink.

Access to a new ultrafast broadband service is giving businesses in Swansea a competitive edge according to broadcast solutions provider Quicklink.

Quicklink is one of around 35 businesses taking part in a technical trial of cutting edge G.fast technology, which has been pioneered in BT's labs and delivers ultrafast speeds of around 300Mbps - more than ten times the UK average - over existing copper lines.

The company, which provides broadcasters with software and hardware solutions to help them transmit live and edited video, is using its G.fast connection to promote the very latest in video acquisition, management and distribution over IP technology. It believes ultrafast speeds are allowing them to showcase the latest broadcast technology and win new customers.

Technical Manager Luke Griffiths said: “We partnered with Skype TX a professional media division in Skype owned by Microsoft. Together we have recently developed The Quicklink TX Multi Range a portfolio of hardware which allows broadcasters to integrate multiple Skype video calls into their programmes.

“This technology provides a dedicated system for broadcast networks to directly plug in studio-grade Skype feeds into their productions.

“This is a huge growth area as more broadcasters move into participatory television. The format provides an easy way of providing high quality live video calls for entertainment shows, radio and other live video broadcast events.

“For newscasters it provides a quick and cost effective way of providing live links to reporters in the field or conducting interviews. The TX technology allows you to have multiple Skype feeds simultaneously and send a much higher quality picture.

“The live demonstrations have been very popular with our clients and the response has been incredibly positive. But to showcase what our products are capable of you need the bandwidth that G.fast provides to upload the content especially with the increasing demand of Ultra HD.

“We definitely want to keep the G.fast connection – it has most definitely given us a competitive edge, it really has helped us to promote and sell our technology which is a key development for us.”

Quicklink’s customers have also been impressed with the performance of the G.fast service with a number of broadcasters now looking to make the switch.

“A lot of our clients are keen to have the G.fast service and want to receive the trial as well.”

Quicklink, which has been on the Swansea trial for the last seven months, has also been streamlining its internal systems by using ultrafast speeds.

Luke continued: “Our phone system is voice over IP – so everything is over the internet which gives us big savings on phone bills. With G.fast the quality is indistinguishable from a dedicated phone line. Everyone in the office works in the cloud[1] so all our documents and files can be accessed from anywhere - with G.fast there is no waiting time, everything is instant.”

The technical trial, which is serving a number of apartment blocks and business centres in Swansea, is being delivered by Openreach, BT’s local network business.*

If trials like the one in Swansea prove successful - and if UK regulation continues to encourage investment - Openreach aims to start deploying G.fast in 2016/17 alongside its existing fibre broadband services. The company is already carrying out additional trials in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire and Gosforth, Newcastle – and it has committed to bringing the technology to 10 million homes and businesses across the UK by the end of 2020 if regulation continues to encourage investment. This is part of a wider plan to deliver ultrafast broadband to 12 million premises by 2020 and the majority of the UK over the next decade.

BT has pioneered research into G.fast technology since 2007. The technology changes the way broadband signals are transmitted, delivering the sort of speeds that would previously have required fibre to be run all the way from an exchange to a premises (FTTP). This is significant as it will enable Openreach to make ultrafast broadband available to a much larger number of homes and businesses, and in a shorter timeframe, than if it had focused on FTTP alone.

For more information about Ultrafast go to; https://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/OurNetwork/ultrafast.aspx

[1]In its simplest form, the cloud is just a way to describe data stored somewhere on a collection of computers accessed remotely through the internet from any location and multiple devices.