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Suffolk: Broadband speed record broken in county

PUBLISHED: 12:48 23 January 2014

BT's Adastral Park complex at Martlesham.

BT's Adastral Park complex at Martlesham.

Archant

Technology boffins working near Ipswich have helped achieve the fastest-ever broadband speeds – while communities just a couple of miles away are still awaiting the arrival of high-speed internet access.

Scientists have managed to get speeds of up to 1.4 terabytes a second on a link from the BT tower in London to Adastral Park near Ipswich.

That is fast enough to transmit 44 HD movies a second!

However homes and businesses in nearby Newbourne and Waldringfield will have to wait until 2015 to be connected as part of the Better Broadband for Suffolk programme.

The speeds achieved in the BT tests with technology giant Alcatel-Lucent are unlikely to become commonplace for some time.

But while the county council-sponsored programme is looking to make speeds of 24 Megabits per second (Mbps) available to 95% of the properties in Suffolk, some homes and businesses with a fibre-optic connection can already get speeds of 120 Mbps.

The speed tested at Martlesham is more than 10,000 times faster than that!

Neil McRae, Chief Network Architect at BT, said: “Investing for the future is core to BT’s strategy and this outstanding achievement demonstrates that BT can easily introduce new features and technologies across our core network maximizing the efficiency of our existing infrastructure.”

A spokesman said the hyper-fast broadband speeds would allow more data to go along broadband “motorways” before it was directed to local networks, the broadband “B-roads” that deliver the technology to communities.

A spokesman for the county council said the experiment showed that technology was advancing, however the current programme was well on target to improve speeds to individual properties.

This scheme only brings fibre-optic cable to BT boxes in communities, the final connection is through conventional wires, however in the future it should be able to extend fibre-optic links to individual properties.

He said: “We are looking to run our current programme over the next two years, but ultimately it should be possible to run fibre-optic cable from the boxes to individual properties.”

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