Hambleton Village, located on a peninsula in the middle of Rutland Water, will be the first rural village in the UK to receive a full future-proofed fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband solution. Rutland Telecom, who deployed a fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) solution in the rural village of Lyddington last year, have announced today that their first complete fibre solution, with fibre optic cables installed directly into homes and businesses (FTTP), will go live in Spring 2011 following the advanced signup of over £250,000 of private investment.
Over 60% of the village have registered for the service where current broadband speeds average 0.7 Mbps and they will see speeds increase to 50meg. The infrastructure being used by Rutland Telecom will see a full point-to-point fibre link deployed between premisses and the fibre cabinet deployed in the village. FTTH deployments by BT currently use GPON which passively joins multiple fibres on to a single fibre which reduces the amount of fibre needed for backhaul, but can limit future services that are available. With the solution being installed in Hambleton, faster services can easily be deployed through the use of different wavelengths on the fibre for sending data. Rutland Telecom are using GEO for their fibre build.
Two packages are available for customers in the area. A residential product offers 50meg broadband with a 5meg upload speed and 25GB usage allowance for £50 per month on a 12 month contract. A business package of symmetrical 50meg (that's 50meg upload and download) with a 250GB usage allowance and lower contention will cost £100 per month on a 12 month contract. No setup fee is chargeable for those who signed up before the 1st of December although a minimum connection fee will apply of £1000+VAT subject to survey (costing a further £150) for any new orders. These will also be restricted by civil works and will likely only go forward once at least 3 or 4 premises want to be connected.
Whilst the costs are not cheap, they are not dissimilar to the costs that Virgin initially charged for their 50meg broadband when this was first launched (£51 per month), although Rutland Telecom do have a usage limit on the product. Of course, living in a rural area increases the costs of receiving services, and the high costs have obviously not dissuaded too many from signing up. Many I'm sure will be thankful to finally receive a fast Internet service.
Further details are available from the Rutland Telecom FTTP webpage.