BE broadband have enjoyed being at the forefront of broadband speed for some time, being one of the first providers to offer faster services using ADSL2+ which can provide up to 24meg broadband (something that BT are still in the process of rolling out years later). They lost the top spot in speed to Virgin Media when the launch of their 50meg broadband product in December 2008, dropped BE back to second place. There haven't been any great revolutions in speed since at BE although a bonded broadband product is available which can offer up to 40meg broadband, but it requires two phone lines.
BE are aware their customers want fibre based broadband (FTTC/FTTH), and admit to being quiet on the subject, but a blog post yesterday from Tom Williams, Managing Director, talks of what they are looking in to and planning.
"We really want to offer you a fibre solution. We want to keep providing faster and faster speeds. However, we can't afford to lay our own fibre network (unless, of course, Alex agrees to sell his collection of antique Happy Meal toys). Right now, we're looking at the wholesale products available.
If we do this, then there's likely to be some initial restrictions on what we can offer in terms of speed, support, and the general customer experience. But, for many of you, it will be faster.
Whatever we offer, it won't be perfect straight away – though it will improve over time. We want to get your input while we're investigating the options: we want to build the BE fibre product around you as much as possible. So, we've got a survey. We'd appreciate it if you could fill it out."Tom Williams, (Managing Director) BE Broadband
The survey asks what you currently have from BE and what you'd like to receive from them in the future as well as your views on how things should be priced and the current fibre offerings available from other providers. The Great Be Fibre Survey is aimed at existing BE members but they do currently have a 2 month free offer if you are looking to sign up. More details on BE products here.