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BT Expand North Swindon 330Mbps FTTP Broadband Trial to Taw Hill

Thursday, Apr 14th, 2016 (7:45 am) - Score 1,517

Openreach (BT) has reportedly expanded their new trial of “ultrafast” 330Mbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband technology in Haydon Wick (North Swindon), which originally aimed to serve a total of around 500 local homes, to include 277 properties in the Taw Hill area.

Previously Openreach’s trial was only focused on the very top left corner of urban North Swindon, with residents of Ariadne Road, Boatman Close, Clementine Road, Mayfly Road, Metis Road, Minnow Close, Ulysses Road and Voyager Drive all looking set to benefit.

However the Taw Hill area is a little further south of that and it was originally due to be one of the sites for UKB Networks controversial wireless broadband masts, until the planning process scuppered them (here). UKB Networks have since submitted 6-7 new mast sites, but the new locations could leave some gaps in their coverage (here).

It’s possible that Openreach’s FTTP expansion to Taw Hill may have been encouraged by the local authority in order to help fill in some of the areas that UKB Networks could miss out or perhaps BT have done it intentionally in order to undermine the case for UKBN’s deployment. In any case we suspect that local residents won’t moan too much about gaining access to a pure fibre optic broadband service, which is something that most of us can only dream of having.

The purpose of BT’s trial in the area isn’t so much to test the technology itself (they’ve already deployed native FTTP to 200,000 UK premises), but rather a test of their new deployment methods that will locate any new equipment either underground or on top of a local telegraph pole. BT needs to make FTTP home installs faster and more efficient in order to improve the economic case for using it.

Openreach are also conducting trials of simpler ways to deploy FTTP in other parts of the UK, including one in Bradford and another in Campton and Meppershall (Bedfordshire), which for example will look at reducing the need for engineers to cut and melt fibres together. Some will also test 1000Mbps (Gigabit) speeds, although that’s more intended for business products.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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