Examining BT's 100Mbps FTTP Fibre Optic UK Broadband Service | Page 2 - ISPreview
Examining BT's 100Mbps FTTP Fibre Optic UK Broadband
By: Mark Jackson - June 25th, 2010 : Page 2 -of- 3
"BT has said that its FTTP deployment will ultimately reach 2.5 million homes and businesses by 2012"

As a side note, FTTP could one day offer download speeds of up to 1Gbps (Gigabit per second) or 1000Mb (Megabits) if you prefer. Similarly FTTC is also theoretically capable of offering speeds up to 100Mbps, albeit only over very short distances.

However BT's long term goals for FTTC have so far only committed to an increase of up to 60Mbps.

Will I be able to get it?

Probably not. BT has said that its FTTP deployment will ultimately reach 2.5 million homes and businesses by 2012; a drop in the ocean. Originally it was only going to be deployed in newly built Greenfield sites but by using existing telegraph poles and other methods the operator found that it could reach many existing (Brownfield) homes too.

The lion's share of BT's fibre optic broadband rollout will therefore be handled by FTTC technology, which is relatively inexpensive and can reach the vast majority of existing properties without much building work. It is useful to point out that BT is not the only fibre optic game in town (skip to our conclusion on page 3 for more on that).

When is it coming?

BT Openreach currently has a number of FTTP pilot sites running in Brownfield deployment locations like Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes and Highams Park, London; 20,000 homes and businesses to be covered by March 2010. There are also several Greenfield pilots in places like Ebbsfleet, which have been running since 2008. Most recently BT began accepting UK ISPs on to its wider FTTP trials.

We note that, technically speaking, any exchange upgraded to support FTTC technology can also do FTTP. However it is a matter of cost and local physical or technical restrictions as to whether BT can deploy FTTP into a specific area. As stated earlier in this article, most people will not be able to receive it.

Sadly BT's commercial rollout of FTTP is yet to be decided but, given the timescale of their current trials, we wouldn't be surprised to see it surface towards the end of this year and or into early next year. Presently the focus remains on 40Mbps FTTC instead.

What will it cost?

BT has already said that its FTTP product is likely to cost more than FTTC, which makes sense given the difference in speed and deployment costs. Price will ultimately come down to how ISPs balance their usage allowances and service features. We do know that the connection cost for FTTC, which is about £75 +vat, should be roughly the same for FTTP (based on pilot prices).

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