Strong progress has been made in a trial of duct and pole sharing with Fujitsu, Openreach's furthest advanced trial participant. Last week saw the company connect up its first end users using fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology which can deliver connection speeds of up to 1Gbps. This limited trial is taking place in Greasby, the Wirral for 6 months and will offer speeds of up to 100Mbps through two service providers- Virgin Media and TalkTalk.
The successful installation and positive feedback from both Fujitsu and other triallists is pushing Openreach ahead to launch the physical infrastructure access (PIA) products later this month. Pricing will be as per the announcement in October which saw various pricing fall from the original controversial draft pricing that caused some backlash from potential customers.
"Fujitsu UK have made strong progress to date using Openreach's poles and ducts and so we welcome the imminent commercial launch of their products. I'm delighted to announce that the first of our triallists are now live on our trial network, and we're proud to be the first Communications Provider in the UK to offer service through this route to market. Whilst there are still some points of detail we're working through ahead of commercial launch, we've been reassured by Openreach's collaborative approach towards pricing and product development, which gives us the confidence to move forward."Andy Stevenson, (CEO) Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Limited
Fujitsu had announced that they planned to deliver fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) to over 5 million rural homes and businesses back in April, through a collaboration with Virgin Media and TalkTalk. The trial here is the first steps towards this open wholesale network, however the ambitious target would rely on funding from BDUK being used to help them meet the financial case for deploying in areas, and there is likely to be strong competition to get access to these funds.