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Openreach Fibre to the Home coverage to double
Friday 09 October 2009 11:56:32 by Andrew Ferguson

We've had the two brownfield trial sites for Fibre To The Home announced, but we are now seeing Openreach widening the areas even more, though it is too early to give specifics on locations.

BT has now announced that it has adjusted its plans to have its Fibre to the Home network available to some 2.5 million homes by 2012, the original plan was for 1 million homes. These homes are not in addition to the 10 million FTTC/FTTH homes previously talked about, but rather an altering of the ratio so that more homes will have access to connection speeds of 100Mbps. Interestingly this increase in coverage of FTTH will be managed within the existing £1.5 billion BT had allocated to investing in fibre services.

"This development shows that we are determined to bring world-leading broadband speeds to UK homes and businesses. Service providers have asked us for more FTTP and so we have listened to them. The UK already leads the world when it comes to broadband availability and today's announcement will help the UK climb the speed league tables as well. The UK is well placed but we need to invest for the future so that customers can access the rich applications that will be popular in a few years time."

Steve Robertson, (CEO) Openreach

One of the big reasons why so many people are keen to see Fibre To the Home pushed is that the potential to expand speeds as applications change is there. Openreach is pointing out that the FTTH network could offer speeds of 1Gbps (1000Meg) if there was the commercial demand.

In terms of Digital Britain this is good news but does highlight the concerns some people raised with the Digital Britain report and things like its 2Meg USO and Next Generation Broadband fund - they may be too slow in becoming available, and once they are, they may be as outdated as the 28Kbps USO that exists now is.

What will be interesting now is how Virgin Media reacts. With true fibre optic networks direct into peoples homes at a speed double the maximum speed it currently offers we may see them upgrading their cable network towards the 200Meg speeds they have suggested are possible, or perhaps buying wholesale access onto the Openreach fibre local loop in some areas.


Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
Frankly, FTTH and FTTC (not to mention common sense) mean that 2Mb in the USO is stupid beyond belief. Even my 4Mb 24/7/365 throughput looks a bit weak although I'd defend that by pointing out I'd like that spec'd as a starting point with review/automatic increase at regular intervals.

Anyway all we need now is for Ofcom:
a)To get a clue.
b)Get off their bum and actually /do/ something.
Posted by Dixinormous over 8 years ago
Very good. Also good to see it being deployed both overground and underground.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
AndrueC - No, it dosn't. If you're in, say, rural Scotland? The USO is relevant. If you're in a LLU area at all? No, of course it's not, but the USO is a *country-wide minimum*.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@Dawn:Huh? Your reply doesn't make sense.

Why are you bringing rural Scotland into it?
And what's with 'not relevant' comment?

I never said that the USO wasn't relevant and my comments about 2Mb/s being too low apply to everywhere in the UK. Why do you think I'd exempt rural Scotland from that?
Posted by carrot63 over 8 years ago
"..will help the UK climb the speed league tables as well."

So the average will continue to rise, which makes politicians/BT look good. But the divide between areas will remain. My connection has actually slowed down over the last four years by around one 1/3 and is now less than half the national average. BT/ISP couldn't care less (and it IS a line issue). And I live in London, not wildly distant from the exchange, so what for those in the back of beyond?

I'd far rather see a lower national average, more evenly distributed. Then minds might be concentrated on something beyond headlines.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
We haven't a USO. Its a USC.
Also Steve Robertson also said in his report that openreach had found that laying fibre was a lot cheaper than originally thought, because they are going to use existing ducts and poles. Success. They finally make a start on getting IT. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then you win. Also they are running scared. something to do with a ball.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
AndrueC - *I* said that in an area with LLU, the USO isn't relevant. It's aimed at providing a minimum baseline, not speeding up faster services. And 2MBit remains a good initial goal for a USO. When that's 99.9%...

carrot63 - Check your house wiring. And if it slowed down after you went to ADSL2, force the router to synch only with ADSL1.

Cyberdoylie - You made some sense, then the drugs ran down.
Posted by markybaby76 over 8 years ago
This is crap, how about using the money they have left to increase FTTC around the country rather than giving inner city areas faster speeds.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Er...they're not reducing the amount of FTTC will cover. So FTTC+FTTH will cover more people.
Posted by uniquename over 8 years ago
@Dawn - your last comment is not what John says in the article.

And re your reply to carrot63, I think you mean if it slowed down after going to ADSL2+ then try ADSL2. No ISPs supply ADSL2 as a default.

ADSL(1) is almost always worse than ADSL2, but ADSL2 can be better than 2+.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
Yeah, I'm not sure where Dawn is coming from here. Talking about LLU for some reason when neither me nor the article mentioned it? The USO isn't even relevant to LLU until/unless Ofcom decide to make it an industry wide requirement.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
And you think 2Mb/s is a reasonable minimum for the USO? Maybe if you want to let BT continue to amble along at a snail's pace. I have a better idea. We're on the brink of NGA right now. We're defining the future. Let's set a decent minimum - one that current tech can barely achieve. That will force some proper progress IMO.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
AndrueC - what speed would you propose? By when? How? Who pays?
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
markybaby76? its already been proven the majority of brownspots are actually in urban areas. I am in one of those inenr city areas with poor speeds.
Posted by themanstan over 8 years ago
Posted by themanstan over 8 years ago
And who is going to pay for this barely achievable technology?
Posted by ElBobbo over 8 years ago
Barely achievable in what way?
Posted by Firewall over 8 years ago
Surely better to say 2meg by end of 2010. 4 meg for 2011, 10 meg for 2012 etc. so that expectations of BT/BTo are set.

However, it still amazes me that Virgin aren't obliged to allow third party use of their network. Once again we'll see loads of people getting another super fast service past their gate whilst a huge chunk of us are still left with scabby old copper to a remote cabinet that may, if we're lucky, eventually get a fibre to it. Imagine if they built the roads like that? There'd be 2 motorways and a back lane to everyone in the inner cities and dirt tracks to the rest of us.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Firewall - Except, remember, that it's a *universal* obligation. Reaching into every notspot and little community - even above the allready excellent coverage of UK broadband - will be expensive enough at 2MBit, and most government services will work fine at that speed.

Also lol, if you'd used VM's service in a popular area you'd have a very different view of their merits versus ADSL, believe me!

As to the analogy? Yea, most other countries they're refusing to build the dirt tracks, and limiting the amount of non-motorway building.
Posted by cjbell68 over 8 years ago
Be nice to see the coverage improving things for rural areas, in particular enhancing exchanges with long loop lengths.

But of course I don't anticipate they will consider this type of exchange for many reasons.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
For FTTH? No. FTTC? Quite possibly.
Posted by cjbell68 over 8 years ago
I hope for either, but imagine perhaps neither for commercial reasons.
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