Broadband provider O2 and sister company BE have been talking up their plans for fibre broadband which will come to fruition later this year. Both companies issued a blog post on their relevant blogs (O2 blog, BE blog) which speak of the plans. Unfortunately, no real details have been released by either company and this is mainly a 'coming soon' announcement.
While I can't give too many details of the service at this stage we want to ensure that we will provide the right customer experience in place before we go live. As a result we are currently looking at the infrastructure and where in the UK we run the trial.
What we are determined to do is offer a service that has all the things you love about our existing LLU broadband packages – great service and support and of course super fast speeds. The fine tuning of the packages, including pricing, is currently being decided and I will update you over the coming months when we have more detail..
As a result our current planning is for a service to be available later this year. Nearer the time we will launch a pre-registration programme, prioritising our existing customers first.Felix Geyr (MD), O2 Home and Broadband
BE members know that speed is affected by much more than the materials of the cabling that runs into the cabinet though. In practice that means an unlimited, unthrottled connection from BE could be faster for downloading films than a fibre connection with traffic management.
So our plans for fibre have to be something unlimited and unshaped too, otherwise it simply defeats the object of having greater speed. It’s great to be told you could get speeds up to some high level, but with traffic management it is unlikely you’ll get it for long. We are unlikely to be the cheapest in the market but we are determined to be the best.
Practically, we’d really like to launch our service later this year. We’re crunching the numbers on a variety of different routes that would allow us to deliver our vision of fibre. We think a pre-registration programme will help us work out where there is demand from our existing members.Chris Stening, (MD) Be Broadband
The announcements were particularly fluffy around the use of the term 'fibre', and don't specifically refer to either fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) or fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technologies, which can offer very different speeds. We understand from BE that they have been looking at both options but currently FTTC is the "more proven and operationally-ready" solution. This is probably somewhat due to BT's existing FTTC platform which is passing around 80,000 new premises each week.