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By: MarkJ - 25 May, 2011 (11:28 AM)
bt uk fibre optic broadband workbtThe commercial launch of BT Group's superfast 100Mbps (Megabits per second) capable Fibre-to-the-Premises ( FTTP ) fibre optic broadband ISP technology appears to have been delayed after it emerged that engineers were needing significantly longer than anticipated to install the service into homes.

BT confirmed in March 2011 that it hoped to reach approximately 270,000 UK homes with its new FTTP service by September 2011 (here), although at the time it also admitted that two engineers needed 7 hours to install the service into a single home. BT hoped to get this down to 2 hours before the commercial launch.

Sadly a report on The Register today confirms that approximately one quarter of BT's FTTP trials were taking two days to install instead of 2 hours. Many of the problems were down to blockages in the operator's cable ducts, which needed to be cleared before the cable could be blown through. In other situations about 5% of home owners refused to allow an installation unless they were present (quite understandable).

A BT Spokesperson said:

"FTTP is a complex technology which we are currently trialling at scale. We are pleased with how the trials are going, but have always been very clear that we will only launch it on a commercial basis once it has been fully tested and is ready for the market."

Delays to BT's FTTP programme are sadly nothing new. The operator began its original Brownfield pilots of the technology during mid-2010, approximately 6 months after their target date of January 2010. Admittedly the problems are a big and potentially quite costly hassle, although we shouldn't forget that the purpose of such trials is to discover and resolve such issues.
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