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BT Makes 330Mbps Fibre Optic Broadband Available to UK Consumers

Monday, July 2nd, 2012 (10:48 am) - Score 3,121

BTOpenreach, which manages ISP access to BT’s UK telecoms network, has today made its new “premium” ultra-fast 330Mbps (Megabits per second) capable fibre optic (FTTP) broadband service fully available to the market and consumers.

The new 330Mbps product, which takes a fibre optic cable directly to homes and businesses within its coverage, is significantly faster than the operators existing 110Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based service; though its maximum upload speed remains constrained at 30Mbps (that’s fine for most people).

Sadly FTTP service coverage remains extremely limited and is currently only available via a relatively small proportion of premises on just 15 telephone exchanges around the UK. This should improve next Spring 2013 when BT makes its FTTP-On-Demand service available to almost anywhere that their existing FTTC service has covered (66% of the UK by the end of 2014).

Mike Galvin, Openreach MD for Network Investment, said:

The commercial launch of FTTP is a major milestone. Whilst we believe that FTTC will provide speeds that are suitable for consumers for some time, these FTTP products will allow CPs to offer SMEs and other bandwidth-hungry users the option of even higher speeds – some of the fastest in the world – and build propositions which help to grow the market for these higher-speed services.”

It’s important to recognise that 330Mbps is extremely fast and the vast majority of domestic users would have a hard time taking advantage of such performance, which means that those who can actually receive it are probably better off sticking with the 100/110Mbps service. UK ISP Andrews & Arnold (AAISP) recently pointed out (here) that it would be difficult for ISPs to deliver the top speed without suffering costly capacity woes or putting prices through the roof.

At present most ISPs have yet to announce any packages based off the 330Mbps product, although some will surely do so. The wholesale pricing level also suggests that any initial packages could be quite costly. The service costs the same as FTTC and other FTTP products to install (£80 +vat and that’s impressive for FTTP), while monthly RETAIL prices are likely to start at around £35-£45 month (just our rough guesstimate).

BT Detail Prices for 330Mbps Fibre Optic Broadband
http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/05/bt-detail-11th-june-uk-launch-and-prices-for-330mbps-fibre-optic-broadband.html

List of exchange areas where FTTP is available (now and in the future)
http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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