By: MarkJ - 8 May, 2010 (6:50 AM)
fibre optic uk broadband cableISP BT will reveal a major expansion of its 40-100Mbps fibre optic ( FTTC , FTTH / P ) based next generation broadband network plans during Thursday next week, at the release of its latest full year results. Under BT's current plan the operator is spending £1.5bn to make superfast broadband services available to 10 million homes (40% coverage) by summer 2012.

However a report from the FT states that BT's CEO, Ian Livingston, will expand the existing coverage commitment from 40% to 66%! The move is expected to push their budget requirements beyond £1.5bn, although it is not known by how much. At this stage no further details have been released.

BT's current plan requires a mix of 'up to' 40Mbps FTTC technology and 100Mbps FTTH / P (FTTH/P will only reach 2.5m homes/businesses of the 10m total). FTTH /P typically runs a fibre optic cable directly into homes, which makes it significantly faster and ideal for new builds. BT can also reach some existing locations with FTTH / P by using telegraph poles.

The operators primary Fibre-to-the-Cabinet technology ( FTTC ) instead delivers a fast fibre optic link to street level cabinets, while the remaining connection (between cabinets and homes) is done using VDSL2 (similar to current ADSL broadband but faster over short distances) through existing copper cable; FTTC will initially deliver download speeds of up to 40Mbps (10Mbps for uploads). Most people who get FTTC should not see speeds lower than 10-12Mbps.

The move is likely to bring a smile to a lot of faces, not least TalkTalk and Sky Broadband UK, which are both understood to have been worried about the limited coverage. BT is also facing stiff competition from Virgin Media , which can already reach half of the country with a similar 50Mbps service; they are soon to add a 100Mbps product too.
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Comments: 8

asa logoLegolash2o
Posted: 8 May, 2010 - 8:42 AM
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Wasn't expecting that, this is great news. Still think they should open up their ducts though!
asa logoMarkJ
Posted: 8 May, 2010 - 9:12 AM
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We still don't know whether the "Summer 2012" target will also apply to their adjusted 66% goal. Next week will be fun.
asa logoLegolash2o
Posted: 8 May, 2010 - 9:17 AM
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Haha true! It may possibly be 2013/14 :(
asa logoJohn Reeves
Posted: 8 May, 2010 - 11:08 AM
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ISP 'British Telecom' has been 'BT' for decades and doesn't use the 'British Telecom' name any more.
asa logoDoug
Posted: 8 May, 2010 - 11:23 AM
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When rolling-out FTTC, BT only upgrades those cabinets which are commercially viable. This means as many as 50% of cabinets connected to an exchange will not get any FTTx service, and costs means those are usually the cabinets farthest away--the ones where existing customers get terrible ADSL/2/+ speeds.

Take Basingstoke, where customers in some areas pay full ADSL prices for a sub-512kbps service yet are excluded from the FTTC rollout. Customers in the centre who can already get 10Mbps+ can upgrade and widen the gap!
asa logoMarkJ
Posted: 8 May, 2010 - 2:13 PM
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Doug, yes that's an issue we'll be covering a bit more in the future but I'm waiting to see what BT will do regarding Long Reach FTTC (10Mbps) for locations like the one you have described.

Sadly Long Reach costs more than their budget so it will be interesting to see whether next weeks news is based on that principal or one of simply upgrading more exchanges.
asa logooli
Posted: 9 May, 2010 - 7:03 PM
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FTTC is **** though, usage limits make it pretty pointless.

VM is unrivaled in this area.
asa logoLaurence
Posted: 3 August, 2011 - 10:24 AM
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This is false marketing because its the Exchanges that are enabled, NOT the cabinets, so actual homes and businesses who can get it is far less than the 66% BT are claiming.

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