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UPD2 UK ISP BT Push FTTP Infinity Superfast Broadband Service to 160Mbps

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 (12:30 pm) - Score 1,917

ISP BT Retail has quietly upgraded its top 100Mbps capable fibre optic superfast broadband BTInfinity package to offer UK internet download speeds of up to 160Mbps (Megabits per second) from £35 inc. VAT a month to home consumers (upload speeds have also boosted from 15Mbps to 20Mbps).

The unexpected development relates to the ISPs Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based service that is currently only available to a tiny number of premises around the UK (roughly 85,000 homes and businesses passed).

BT’s FTTP service is capable of faster speeds (330Mbps), although so far most ISPs have not been able to deliver an economically viable service at that level (i.e. expensive capacity demands). BT’s Retail division is not immune to such problems and as a result appears to have opted for a more modest boost to 160Mbps.

BT Infinity 160Mbps
* Up to 160Mbps Download Speeds
* Up to 20Mbps Upload Speeds
* Unlimited Usage Allowance (FUP)
* FREE Evening & Weekend Calls to UK landlines
* FREE Connection (normally £130)
* BTHomeHub 3 Wireless Router Included
* Unlimited Wi-Fi minutes
* Advanced online security
* 5GB secure online storage
* 18 Month Contract

Monthly Price: £35 + Phone Line Rental from £10.75

The new service will of course afford BT some very limited bragging rights over Virgin Media’s rival 120Mbps solution. Virgin would no doubt counter that BT’s extremely limited FTTP coverage would make for a very poor comparison.

This should improve next Spring 2013 when BTOpenreach 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), although the installation price for this is likely to be too high for most home users. Credits to Thinkbroadband for picking up on BT’s change.

UPDATE 25th October 2012

A BT spokeswoman told us that an official announcement about the new service speed should go out today or tomorrow. The ISP will need to be careful because both FTTC and FTTP come under the same BTInfinity brand, which could easily result in confusion due to FTTP’s niche availability.

UPDATE 25th Oct @ 12:16pm

The official launch announcement has been released, which includes a little extra detail.

Pete Oliver, Commercial Director of BT Retail, said:

We have set the standard again by boosting our top speed available to customers. We are seeing strong interest in our fibre broadband offerings and we now have more than 700,000 customers.

160Mb now beats anything offered by our major rivals for speed and today’s substantial speed boost comes at no extra charge, as the price remains the same. Our trials have shown that customers absolutely love our fastest broadband ever.”

The service itself is currently only available via a tiny coverage area from 25 telephone exchanges across the UK including..

BT FTTP Telephone Exchanges
Bradwell Abbey
Burley in Wharfedale
Chester South
Forest Hill
Highams Park
Ilford Central
Mile End
St Agnes
St Austell

It’s worth remembering that only a small number of premises in each area will be able to receive the service.

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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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