BT have announced that next spring they will be upping the download speeds on their fibre-to-the-home/premises (FTTH/P) broadband products to 300Mbps, a speed boost that will put them well out in front with the fastest broadband offering. BT will also make changes to their fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband services by doubling the downstream speeds up to 80Mbps. This FTTC boost had been talked about previously and both announcements will be welcome news for those who are looking for cutting edge broadband speeds.
Rollout of FTTH is only expected to reach around 25% of the country, whilst 2/3rds should be covered by 2015 by what BT call 'fibre broadband' which includes fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-cabinet products. Currently only 6 exchange areas have been announced for the commercial 'early deployment' launch of FTTH at the end of this month, so BT are obviously keen to show the potential that this product holds in the future. It should be remembered that speeds on the FTTC product are still limited by the distance from your property to the cabinet in the road. For many, this is quite short so high speeds will be seen, but they may not be right up there at the 80meg limit.
"Today is a significant step in the UK’s broadband journey. These developments will transform broadband speeds across the country and propel the UK up the broadband league tables.
All our fibre products are fit for the future and these developments show that to be the case. As always, we want to go further and faster and so our journey doesn't end here. We can turn up the dial should there be demand and so we can look to the future with confidence.
No-one is keener than us to extend these super-fast speeds to rural areas and so we will be bidding for public funds to help extend these services even further. The challenge is a tough one but by working with the public sector it is within our reach.Liv Garfield, (Chief Executive) Openreach
With some able to receive blisteringly fast speeds, and others still stuck in the broadband slow-lane with just 2meg or lower speeds, this will truly create a digital divide, worse than we have seen before in the country.