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Telecoms giant BT says it has launched the first ever trial of 10Gb broadband in a live working environment.

Cornwall-based engineering firm Arcol UK Ltd has been chosen as the test site for deployment of the new hyper-fast broadband technology.

The proof of concept trial uses new fibre technology called XGPON, developed by electronics company ZTE in partnership with Openreach.

For the purposes of testing, Arcol's offices have been connected by a direct fibre link to BT's telephone exchange in Truro.

The demonstration aims to show how faster speeds could be provided over Cornwall’s new fibre infrastructure in the future.

"Potential speeds are so fast that the physical limits of the networking and computer equipment prevent the line from being used at its maximum capacity," BT explained.

"And although the direct link between the Truro exchange and Arcol runs at 10Gb, the company isn’t connected to the wider internet at those speeds as there is nothing that can be done on the web with 10Gb."

Ranulf Scarbrough, Programme Director for the Cornwall Super-Fast Broadband Programme, noted that the hyper-fast speeds have been obtained over exactly the same fibre that carries BT’s super-fast broadband services today.

"All we are doing is changing the electronics at either end," he noted.

Mr Scarbrough said the trial shows that BT "is thinking and ready for the future" even though there are no current plans to deploy this technology.

"A lot of this project is about futureproofing – making sure that it’s not just the fastest speeds today but that we can continue to be at the cutting edge for five, ten, 20 years," he stated.

At present, the fastest broadband speeds available to BT customers are 330Mb, which are deliverable via fibre-to-the-premises connections.

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