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O2 and BE to launch fibre broadband products this year
Wednesday 29 June 2011 15:06:48 by John Hunt

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.

Comments

Posted by Going_Digital over 5 years ago
They are just desperate to hold on to their customers who are going elsewhere. This announcement gives no detail of what they will be offering or when.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Just dangling the same carrots from last year aren't they?

It would be great to see a Fibre based BE service, but this isn't it - just more words.
Posted by spetznaz over 5 years ago
And no doubt they will mostly cover the same areas that infinity does.. yawn.
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
It can only cover the same areas as BT infinity or it's resold counterparts already do, no rollout no FTTC/H As i seriously doubt that be*/o2 are going to rollout their own fiber alongside bt's,
So if you live in an area with FTTC installed then be*'s offering will be available to you, if you don't then all you may have as an alternative is the bonded option but @ £65 per month + line rental,it's far too expensive for most
Posted by samperry209 over 5 years ago
Would be nice if they actually upgraded my dire exchange..
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
Without LLU style backhaul this isn't going to work, is it even an option for FTTC yet?
Posted by Alchemyfire over 5 years ago
Agree with samperry209... would be nice if they concentrated on filling the gaps/exchanges in their network.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
@Alchemyfire

Not really a "gap" if they have no intention of going there in the first place.
Posted by doowles over 5 years ago
I left BE internet 2 months ago to go to BT VDSL. It works well but I would move back to BE in a second if they offered a good "no limits" package.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
@doowles

There are other unlimited BTW FTTC options, but they aren't cheap, £90+ if you can afford it.
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
@otester LLU backhaul has been available from day one via GEA, surely ? Talk Talk's plans used their own backhaul.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
@herdwick

Hmm, I always thought it wasn't really available due to BT wanting to get their £ back before opening up.

Guess it could just be providers being lazy.

C&W FTTC would be nice.
Posted by brutos over 5 years ago
As o2 customer i have never had any issues with the BB in 2 years love it.

And i will definitely get their FTTC
Posted by brucie245 over 5 years ago
If it's based on the same routing as BT infinity uses there'll be no point for me. BTinfinity quoted me speeds that I already get with BE on their std LLU setup :(
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Note that BE have now launched pre-registration for their fibre based broadband products here:

https://www.bethere.co.uk/web/beportal/fibre
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