Opeanreach have announced the start of FTTP/FTTH (fibre-to-the-premesis/home) trials which are to begin on two brownfield sites in January 2010. One location was already announced- Highams Park in London, and the other is to be Bradwell Abbey in Milton Keynes. The trial will be open to all wholesale providers which should help expand the users choice of service provider. Users could expect to see speeds up to 100 meg downstream and 10 meg upstream, reportedly the fastest in the UK.
"This trial is crucial for informing our plans to consider deploying FTTP alongside FTTC. Our FTTP deployment in Ebbsfleet has allowed us to learn a great deal about rolling out fibre directly to homes in greenfield areas and we believe that the technology has huge potential for brownfield areas too. We've worked closely with communications providers and regional development authorities in selecting these sites for the FTTP brownfield trial, and I'd like to encourage as many communications providers as possible to get involved in the trial."David Campbell, (Managing Director of Next Generation Access) Openreach
This not the first rollout of FTTP in the UK as BT have previously deployed to the greenfield housing development in Ebbsfleet Valley, however it is the first to a brownfield site. This is an area which is already covered by access to copper services. Bradwell Abbey has featured in BT trials before. Back in 2004, the area received a technical evaluation of long reach broadband which enabled BT to evaluate how different technologies would work. If many lines are of a long length, then this would make it an excellent candidate for providing faster services.
Highams Park is also an area listed as to receive fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) services so this may provide an evaluation to BT of how the two products could co-exist and of customer demand for each.