BTOpenreach confirms that homes and businesses in the rural village of Deddington (Oxfordshire, England) can now choose to connect via the first UK Fibre-Only Exchange (FOX) trial, which aims to replace the old copper line products with “ultra-fast” fibre optic phone and broadband (FTTP) services.
Until now the best internet speeds that residents of Deddington could hope for was a connection of up to 8Mbps via older ADSL technology, which is in stark contrast to the top speeds of 330Mbps (Megabits per second) that can now be received via the operators new fibre optic infrastructure.
Openreach’s trial effectively aims to replace the local telephone exchange’s existing copper loop, which currently serves 1,400 lines (2,200 people), in favour of a modern Fibre-to-the-Premises based infrastructure. The locals in nearby Barford St Michael, Aynho Wharf, Hempton and Clifton will also benefit.
Steve Jones, Head of Openreach’s FOX Pilot, said:
“This is a really exciting day for the people of Deddington, and also those in Barford St Michael, Aynho Wharf, Hempton and Clifton, as they will now be able to experience a whole new online world, totally transforming the way they use the internet. Laying fibre optic cables to every home and business in a rural village is very challenging and we would not have come so far without the excellent support from the local community.
Fresh advances in technology are pushing the boundaries for new services on an almost daily basis. So this pilot here in Deddington is very important and will help the industry better understand the opportunities arising from a fibre-only world.”
ISPreview.co.uk understands that the main fibre optic spine from Banbury (6 miles north of Deddington) was completed last autumn and that Openreach originally aimed to bring its new FOX platform to 86% of local homes by the end of December 2012. The majority of BT’s roll-out is currently due to be completed by the end of January 2013.
The new fibre service will sit alongside the old copper based platform and locals will be given a choice about whether or not to upgrade. Prices are understood to be very similar to the current FTTP charges for retail ISPs and the installation process is almost identical.
The Deddington trial is really just a learning experience for BT, which is seeking to better understand the future costs and any complications that could arise from similar developments. But such work is usually quite expensive and thus this shouldn’t be seen as a solution for every area, at least not for a very long time.