Well done to Mark of ISPreview for spotting some BE news. Customers of BE who had registered for their fibre product have been sent a newsletter confirming that the Barking area will be the trial site for the service.
"Simply put, in order to continue our philosophy of providing broadband that remains unthrottled and unlimited, we need to find a solution that strikes the right balance between value (for you and us!) and a swift time-to-market. Unfortunately, this isn’t likely to happen this year as we’d hoped.
To understand how best to make fibre work, we’re about to start trialling a solution where we install some of our own equipment into BT’s local exchanges. Although more complex than if we were to buy a fibre service exclusively from another provider, we feel it could work better in the long run.
This will be a single-exchange trial to start with, and we’ll be contacting those of you in the exchange (Barking, in Greater London) to see if you’d like to receive the service for the duration of the trial."Extract from letter on BEUserGroup.co.uk
The letter does not clarify exactly what BE plans to do, installing hardware in the telephone exchange would be more to do with accepting a fibre feed from the street cabinets, and may be referring to a purchase of a VULA (virtual unbundled local access) service from Openreach, where BE get better control of the service than is possible using the current GEA (generic ethernet access) solutions. Though if this were the case one would expect more than a single exchange. Therefore they may be referring to a sub-loop unbundling service, where BE actually installs mini-DSLAMs in its own small cabinet or chamber around an exchange to offer fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) services.
With BE customers generally being early adopters who have found ways of utilising all the speed they can get their hands on, we have been seeing a number jump ship to the faster FTTC services where available, and it is not always the downstream speed they jump for, but the extra upstream speed is the draw for a good number of people.