broadband Business

FTTx Update – BT Superfast Broadband Will Soon Surpass 5 Million Homes

At some point in the coming month BT’s superfast broadband service will surpass the 5 million home mark.

I’ve been a bit quiet on the fibre updates recently. I just sat in on a BT conference call on the subject. BT is contemplating changing the frequency specification on its “superfast” broadband product which will bring speeds potentially up to 80Mbps instead of the current 40Mbps.

I questioned whether this would reduce the reach of the service but apparently it increases it. The issues are potentially higher levels of cross talk and interference on lines but the higher frequency position is the standard that has been adopted elsewhere in the EU – must be ok then.

For punters it shouldn’t make any difference as BT is likely to specify both services at the same level. In other words they will say 80Megs and the underlying delivery technology will be irrelevant. This won’t quite be true because those benefitting from FTTP should get the stated maximum throughput whilst the FTTC lines will average out at a lower speed over their copper lines.

The current FTTP trials have slipped by 6 months. This is down to the odd technical hitch but also whilst BT gets a better handle on the delivery costs. By the end of the trials they should be in a position to decide what is the most cost effective technology. I can’t imagine it will be FTTP but am prepared to be pleasantly surprised. As it stands BT is currently sticking to its position that it will use FTTP for exchange fed lines and FTTC for cabinet fed with 25% of lines in areas where BT has targeted for FTTP being FTTP.

In the near term it won’t really make much difference to end users which flavour they get. Their usage behaviour doesn’t seem to change much whether they have 40Megs FTTC or 100Megs FTTP. This does suggest that the world has not yet produced services that need the faster speed. However build it and they will come, as the saying goes.
BT expects to pass its 5 millionth home with superfast broadband by the end of June 2011.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

4 replies on “FTTx Update – BT Superfast Broadband Will Soon Surpass 5 Million Homes”

BT: “More cross talk and interference = better reach” Hmmm, sounds strange! …not like BT 😉

Shame so many of us are stuck with 20CN exchanges!

Just getting in quick before someone says it’s best to wait for FTTP 🙂

I hate that fact that BT have so many technologies, FTTP, FTTC, ADSL, ADSL2+, SDSL, etc. i bet it’s a right pain to maintain them all. Wouldn’t it be easier for them just to pick one and stay with it???

Personally i think they should either FTTC the whole country or FTTP the whole country not a mixture of the two. I know FTTP will take longer but it will have to be done eventually….

Liam – how can you ‘hate the fact’? Technology develops and do you really mean they could stick with ADSL?!

Clearly the costs of FTTP for every single property in the UK are huge and if the government won’t provide the funds now who will?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.