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BT Bring 300Mbps FTTP Broadband to 800 Birmingham UK Businesses

Tuesday, Apr 1st, 2014 (8:56 am) - Score 1,312
bt-engineer-cutting-fibre-optic-cable

Telecoms operator BT might have scrapped the original UK roll-out target for their “ultra-fast” 300Mbps capable (30Mbps uploads) Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology (here), but that doesn’t mean to say the deployments have stopped and now another 800 businesses in Birmingham look set to benefit.

The FTTP solution is a truly fibre optic method of connectivity, which delivers exceptionally fast speeds by running the fibre cable all the way into a building. Unfortunately it can also be very expensive and slow to deploy (e.g. digging up roads etc.) and those are two of the primary reasons why BT has since put its original plan to reach 2.5 million homes and businesses on ice.

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However the operators FTTP deployments are still occurring in various locations, many of which focus on larger buildings and apartment blocks. In the latest example, around 800 businesses (SMEs) in two major Birmingham buildings, The Custard Factory (home to 500 of the firms and big names like ASOS) and The Big Peg, can now gain access to FTTP.

Martin Corbett, BTOpenreach’s Business Development Director, said:

We wanted to get straight on with the nuts and bolts so we could launch as soon as possible in The Custard Factory and The Big Peg. We collaborated with [the buildings owners/managers] on the design of the core infrastructure going around the buildings. We had to make some readjustments on network entry points to both properties, but that wasn’t a major problem.

There were no significant issues with The Big Peg. It’s a modern building with risers and false ceilings. So we had more than enough space to install our cables and equipment.

We did encounter some minor installation challenges in The Custard Factory, which actually consists of several buildings. However, our engineers found the space they needed and are about to start the FTTP installation there.

Without getting too technical, we’ve put fibre optic terminating points every 20 metres above the ceilings in all the corridors in both properties. They act as local distribution points for the Custard Factory studio offices.”

It’s too early to tell how strong the uptake will be, although evidence from elsewhere suggests that the move could have a significant impact. BT claims that “the commercial benefits will be tangible” and notes an example of one FTTP client – the owner of a small business village based in a set of converted warehouses just outside Wolverhampton – where the installation of a fibre optic service is claimed to be “responsible for 98% occupancy and more than 20 tenants-in-waiting“.

As usual it’s very easy to see why fibre optic lines are favoured at the technical level and even BT are happy to tout its many benefits, although the old bugbears of cost and timescale still exist.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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