As we begin to discuss the merits of broadband types — Fibre To The Cabinet and Fibre To The Premises compared with ADSL — there are a few points worth noting.
First of all there is the speed of the connection. ADSL2+ offers “up to 24Mbps”, FTTC “up to 40Mbps” and FTTP, which has no copper in the loop, is initially 100Mbps with an upgrade path to 1Gbps. I’m not predicting when any reader will have access to these services but those are the numbers. Also the 100M should not need the “up to” inverted commas.
Speed apart the biggest win for me is likely to be in the reliability of the service. Copper based broadband connections are very prone to service interruption due to water and electrical storms.
Believe it or not fault rates do actually go up during summer heatwaves and the thunderstorms that these unbearable periods of British summer weather tend to attract:-). Fibre does not care about water or electromagnetic interference.
Fibre bandwidth delivery is also not dependant on distance in the way that copper based ADSL is. So the overall customer experience is likely to be much improved as we move to FTTP.
BT are assuming that more of their NGA rollouts are going to be FTTC. I think that once FTTP is readily available it will supersede it’s partly copper based sibling. Uses for the bandwidth are going to come along in their droves.