The Openreach product pilot that will see places such as Highams Park in London benefit from a Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) product covering up to 40,000 homes is progressing, with indicative pricing being released.
Openreach has given a range of prices from £175 a year up to £255 a year for the cost of the FTTP products right up to the 100Meg down, 10Meg up product. Products with higher upload speeds will cost more. At £14.60 to £21.25 per month this seems very cheap, but before you start to get too excited remember that this is just for the rental of the fibre that is in the local loop, your data has to get from the telephone exchange to the Internet, and this is where providers like BT Wholesale and the LLU providers such as Sky, O2, TalkTalk take over. For providers using the BT Wholesale product range it will be based around the 21CN service, which generally is retailed with usage limits, i.e. the more you want to use, the more you pay per month, so if your usage habit is around 30GB a month, expect to add £20 or so on top of the Openreach prices.
Of course critics will be questioning why users would pay more to only have limited usage of what may be a 100 meg connection. Some may opt for a faster service simply because they want to be on the end of the fastest possible line whilst others will want a lower latency connection which is more stable and not prone to interference. It is inevitable that over time ISPs, particularly LLU operators, will be offering larger usage allowances or even unmetered connections as the market matures.
Looking into the crystal ball, maybe in three years time, fibre products will have proved popular enough that providers will see that a profit can be made and investment will rapidly increase to ensure the UK has a growing availability of fibre based products to consumers.