Full fibre broadband as in Fibre to the Premises as rolled out by Openreach is now about to show some more of its promise with the local loop operator announcing a trial and pilot that will run from now until 11th June 2012. The trials will feature two main products, a 330 Mbps download version, and an 80 Mbps service.
The deployment is not under trial, it is more about ensuring that the ordering systems, and backhaul cope smoothly with the faster users, and also it provides people like BT Wholesale time to trial how to run the faster variant across its wholesale network. The 330 Mbps will also allow retail providers to test suitable broadband routers, as routing 330 Mbps is beyond the capabilities of many routers.
The 330 Mbps service will be available with two upstream speeds 20 Mbps and 30 Mbps. The 80 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload is actually slower than the existing FTTP product, but this should give it a lower price point, and by matching a FTTC product speed may fit better into the retail plans for providers. Though compared to FTTC the big advantage of full fibre is that there is no line length trade off, i.e. you will connect at the full 80 Mbps.
The trials initial phase which will see connections being connected after 7th May is limited to six areas, Bradwell Abbey, Highams Park, Ilford Central, Leytonstone, York and Wembley. From 21st May the pilot will expand to mean the pilot is available anywhere in the UK that FTTP from Openreach is available.
For the duration of the trials, the service will be free from Openreach, but once the trials conclude service will become chargeable. If interested in taking part, you need to contact your retail broadband provider. Some more information on the trial is available on the Openreach website.