Digital Spy are reporting that Sky are carrying out tests of Fibre to the Cabinet technology in East London in order to try and boost broadband speeds. Sky already operate their own equipment in some BT telephone exchanges and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) requires extending fibre from these exchanges out to roadside cabinets where equipment can be placed to provide DSL service. This has various advantages for an end user with regards their broadband connection as existing technologies such as ADSL2+ can provide faster speeds with a shorter line length between the user and the roadside equipment. It also allows technologies like VDSL2 to be deployed which require very short line distances to reap the benefits (100Mbps (mega bits per second) at 500 metres, halving to 50Mbps at 1km).
Although fibre to the cabinet based systems are often seen as a stop gap to a full fibre to the home deployment, it should help increase speeds to users and also provide more higher quality content such as high definition TV. Overall, FTTC is not dissimilar to how Virgin Media operate their broadband service, with fibre running to the roadside green cabinet and then a copper coaxial cable from the cabinet to the end user's premises.