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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

List of exchange areas where FTTP is available (now and in the future)

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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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7 Responses
  1. Chris Conder says:

    It will only be of interest once we know what the ‘fixed costs’ are likely to be, as that is what has stopped people getting leased lines in the past. The extortionate charges for installing it…

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      See the link about prices in the article. Consumers will be charged a connection fee of £80 +vat, though FTTP would surely cost more than that for BT itself to install.

    2. FibreFred says:

      Yeah it must cost them more that £80, the rest must be tied up in the contract/monthly charges

  2. SlowSomerset says:

    Looks like the Digital divide is just about to get even bigger, 330 Mbps when a lot of people are still not even up to the 21CN standard yet typical of BT.
    Wait can I hear the BT Fanboys or is it employee’s on their way.

    1. What? says:

      Give them a chance… The fan boys I mean, I’m sure they’ll have a really good reasoning to it. Give them an hour or so to consult their Pocket Guide to BS

  3. Bob says:

    Intial indications on Fibre on Demand costs are that it will typically cost between £1000 & £2500 although that cost may be bought down by loading a lot of it onto the monthly fee and having something like a 24 month minimum contract so rather than pay it all up from it will be pread out with something like a £500 Instalation charge and the rest added to the monthly payment meaning you may end up paying a £100 a month

  4. zemadeiran says:

    I am slightly confused in regards to the wording:
    “The service costs the same as FTTC and other FTTP products to install (£80 +vat and that’s impressive for FTTP)”

    “to install” means running a fiber cable from your nearest cabinet/pit/pole to your home. This would be what most people would think that the pricing would work out to and not the much higher £1000+.

    Take myself for example, I live in a block with three pits in front of the building. How long would it take an engineer to run said cable through the appropriate duct into the building and run it up via the existing conduits?

    We already have an intercom system with external metal conduits to each front door so that may be an option.

    This is what install costs boil down to, time, labour and materials.

    I hope that current building regulations specify parallel fiber and cat5e to each new build unit for mdu’s and of course new build housing.

    MDU’s are pretty straight forward with vdsl inside the building if using existing cat1 twisted pairs. Ethernet is a very mature and cheap technology which can easily push 1gbps which is the main solution that hyperoptic uses.

    Hyperoptic of course has to rewire with cat5 but I cannot help thinking that the use of in-building vdsl would be a much quicker to install solution without the need to rewire. Lets face it, if you had 100mbps down and 50mbps up that would fit the bill nicely.

    But what the fuck do I know…. 😉

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