BTOpenreach has today officially selected Deddington (Oxfordshire, UK) as the first rural village to take part in their unique Fibre-Only Exchange (FOX) trial, which will replace the areas existing “copper-based products” with ultrafast fibre optic broadband (e.g. 100Mbps+ FTTP) and phone (Fibre Voice Access) services.
The civil parish of Deddington is currently home to around 2,200 people (1,400 telephone lines), which technically puts it more on the scale of a town. In any case BT intends to start infrastructure work this spring and the first fibre-only services are then expected to become available from 2013 onwards.
Sean Williams, BT’s Strategy Director, said:
“Fresh advances in technology are pushing the boundaries for new services on an almost daily basis. This is an important pilot which will help the industry better understand the opportunities arising from a fibre-only world in which traditional copper will be replaced by the super-fast capabilities of fibre-optic cable.”
Jim Flux, Chairman of Deddington Parish Council, added:
“We are excited to be the first community in the UK to be piloting this latest innovation in telecommunications. Not only will our residents and businesses be able to take advantage of ultra-fast broadband speeds but Deddington is also helping pave the way for the services of the future.”
Apparently Deddington’s residents can currently “only” receive maximum broadband speeds of around 6-8Mbps, which actually isn’t all that bad except for the fact that it’s a maximum and not an average. BT claims that, once complete, locals will be able to access downstream speeds of “between up to 40Mbps and up to 300Mbps“.
BT intends to adopt a collaborative approach whereby all ISPs can learn how to make the transition as smooth and beneficial as possible for their customers.
BT has confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that the existing copper loop will be removed and replaced with FTTP serving 1,400 lines currently on the exchange, which incidentally is a Market 1 (BT only) area where only basic ‘up to’ 8Mbps ADSL services are currently available.
The downside to this is that it means locals won’t be able to get traditional ADSL based packages .