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BT Not Expecting to Deploy Faster UK FTTC Broadband Speeds in 2013

Monday, April 29th, 2013 (1:45 am) - Score 1,892
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BTOpenreach, which maintains and manages access to BT’s national UK telecoms network, has told ISPreview.co.uk that it has “no current plans” to introduce faster FTTC based broadband ISP speeds beyond the current headline rate of 80Mbps (Megabits per second).

BT sources have previously hinted at the possibility of pushing FTTC to speeds of 100Mbps+ (possibly 120Mbps to match Virgin Media’s top-end package) and Openreach’s own engineers have, on occasion, been known speak about at the prospect of a higher headline rate surfacing possibly as soon as this summer.

However Openreach also stressed that they’re keeping “all technical options under constant review” and the recently confirmed trials of Vectoring (VDSL2) technology would certainly support that (here). So while we might not see a commercial speed boost for FTTC this summer, it still hasn’t been ruled out for the future and they are still looking at faster rates. The confirmation may also reduce the pressure on Virgin Media to increase its speeds, at least for now.

As a side-note BT recently said that Vectoring, which slashes crosstalk interference to improve FTTC performance, will be used more as a “speed enabler” than a speed booster (i.e. the headline rate won’t be increased but those with longer lines might eventually see better speeds than they do today); assuming they can make it work for everybody.

Separately BT’s new FTTP-on-Demand (FTTPoD / FoD) service, which makes top FTTP speeds of 330Mbps available to all existing FTTC lines, has today begun its early market deployment (similar to a full commercial launch but without the same guaranteed service levels as a final product). But this is more of a business focused solution and would cost some home owners thousands of pounds to install (details).

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Mark Jackson
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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6 Responses
  1. Avatar RD

    Dont google do overhead fibre for 1GB connections in Texas now? It just goes to show the difference between Asia,America and the UK.The UK led the industrial revolution but now its going to be certain parts of asia and america who leave the UK in the dust.

    2MB minimum with FTTC or 1000MB with google.

    Shocking 😮

    • Avatar DTMark

      The minimum speed is nil as in it isn’t available.

      As evidenced by a few forum posts where excited posters have been checking to see if they can get “fibre” only to find that they cannot, yet, a little bit of research indicates that the cab to which they are connected *is* enabled, but they are one street too far away from it to receive the service.

      At which point the fact that this is not “fibre” begins to dawn as does the reality that a 3G modem might be their best bet for the forseeable future.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Gigaclear do 1Gbps in the UK, so I fail to see your point

  2. Avatar Phil

    BT Wholesale should have go ahead with 120Mbps for FTTC to challange Virgin Media this summer. Why not? I cannot understand why is BT rules it out. Too scare of Virgin Media’s competition?

    • Avatar MikeW

      Might be that they wish to run the trials first, before deciding what they want to do as a result.

      If vectoring gives them options, they might prefer to extend the range, and get the remote premises up to nearer 80Mbps rather than increase the headline.

      Or they might be planning to do any speed changes next year, rather than this year. It looks to need a hardware rollout, so might be slower than the 17a bandplan change.

  3. Avatar Darren

    Understandable, I mean you reduce the speed deficit on longer lines with vectoring only to immediatly reintroduce it by upping the headline, nah.

    Also, why increase the speed and discourage potential FTTPoD customers (Even though speed isn’t the only reason for wanting full fibre). Better to see how demand goes while investigating the potential in vectoring and go from there.

    Personally I’d like to see any future rise in headline speed given to the upload.

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