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BT Retail quietly slips a 160 Mbps product out of the door
Wednesday 24 October 2012 10:33:40 by Andrew Ferguson

BT Retail has quietly launched its fastest ever consumer broadband product, a full fibre 160 Mbps service for £35 per month plus £14.60 voice line rental. This replaces the previous fastest service which ran at 100 Mbps, the upstream speeds remain at 20 Mbps.

The FTTP products are only available to around 85,000 premises across the UK, but as Openreach extends the network and completes the partially deployed systems the numbers should ramp up.

The retail product does not appear to be a new speed option from Openreach, but we suspect is just BT Retail limiting the speed of the 330 Mbps product, which means that further speed tweaks are possible, and who knows Openreach might just start to trial a faster wholesale product in 2013.

The take-up of the FTTP products via Openreach is fairly low at around 5,000 currently, a lot of this is down to the lack of publicity and availability from the retail providers. In areas where FTTP is deployed as the primary superfast network, there is no requirement to order the fastest products, a full range of speeds equivalent to the partial fibre network are available. The advantage over FTTC is that a customer on FTTP ordering a 40/10 service will connect at those speeds 24/7, with any speed variability being down to contention rather than distance to cabinet.


Posted by Scubaholic over 4 years ago
As has been said before here, all we & good but how about extending their existing services first! Here I am in London & still at least another year before I will get a fibre connection.
Posted by ferretuk over 4 years ago
Yet again a product that requuires a customer to take a telephone service as well! Roll on a 'line only' product...

FTTP provides the ideal time to divorce broadband data and telephone service products but there's clearly no incentive to do so. It would be far more honest to say the product is £49.90 per month and includes a free phone line (whether you want it or not)
Posted by ferretuk over 4 years ago
Oops - £49.60
Posted by sthen over 4 years ago
That's just a requirement of this BT Retail offering - it is perfectly possible to have FTTP with no copper phone line with other providers.
Posted by finaldest over 4 years ago
The price is close to what VM charged when they first launched 100mb.

Problem is there is hardly any FTTH coverage. If it was available in my area then I would get it. 160/20 with phone for £49 is a great price.
Posted by colinbarrett over 4 years ago
So, BT "quietly slips" a 160mbps service out the door? Very nice. The big problem is that my connection here in an "old build" part of Milton Keynes uses an 1980 aluminium wire connection and the best downspeed I can expect is 3Mbps when the wind is blowing in the right direction. If BT customers can expect to be paying £35 per month plus £14.60 voice line rental for a full 160 Mbps fibre 160 Mbps service, perhaps I could reasonably expect to be paying virtually nothing for my miserable service?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
@colinbarret This service does not use any aluminium or copper for the broadband, it is the full fibre product FTTH/P.

Hence its limited availability at this time
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Nice one, so we can expect FTTP on demand to offer this as well next year
Posted by Callumpy over 4 years ago
160Mbps download sounds nice, but the 20Mbps upload is just terrible.
Posted by professor973 over 4 years ago
'20Mbps upload just terrible' Surely the world has gone mad chasing numbers they don't need.
Posted by quazmatron over 4 years ago
Not surprised to hear they only have 5000 FTTP customers. I'm in a FTTP area (Forest Hill) and ordered back in August when our bit of Forest Hill was activated. Openreach have just cancelled my order and my neighbours order as they no longer the have faintest idea when they might be able to get their act together and provide the service. Zen (who I ordered with) have been brilliant thoughout with a weekly update phone call but ultimately openreach don't know what they're doing.
Posted by Apilar over 4 years ago
@professor973 Some of us would like to upload 1080p footage and system images on a daily basis. A symmetrical FTTP connection should be offered, even if it costs more.
Posted by Dixinormous over 4 years ago
A symmetrical FTTP connection is offered, it just costs a lot more.

Uploading system images and 1080p footage on a daily basis implies business use, the 330Mb/30Mb business product or a leased line may be more appropriate than a cheap consumer grade asymmetrical product.
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
@ Scubaholic me too but when it comes I hope my CAB gets enabled as it's 10 metres from my outside phone socket. (and I know I am on that one!)
Posted by thebizarch over 4 years ago
@Dixinormous Since when does uploading 1080p imply "business use"? When is the last time you backed up your iPhone and 20GB of MP3 to the cloud in under a week? Cloud = upstream requirement. Done.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago

Ahh, you want convenience. But what timescale for uploads do you consider acceptable?

~2 hours isn't a huge amount of time for 20GB... set it up before going to bed, it's done in the morning.

I'm assuming that the cloud is your backup of your local backup or are you looking at a pure cloud solution?
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
I could upload 20GB in about 4..

Weeks I mean not hours!. I had 0.6 upload :(

20 would be a dream!. Still at least I know it's on it's way in the next 12 months which is not long!
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
It is truly a breath of fresh air when it does happen, when our village got FTTC i went from 2.5/0.7 to 54/15... ~400m from the cab

Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
I can imagine! I did have a brief whiff off 100/10 from VM and it was dire - I can get it here but I dont want it. Im happy to hook onto my mobile and use that. I get 12/5 at the mo on 3. that'll do as I only mainly stream on it (iplayer)
Posted by roughbeast over 4 years ago
So BT are willy waving instead of concentrating on network improvements. Virgin Media have no choice, but to willy wave. They haven't the cash to network build. So, why are BT doing it? Answer, to taunt VM and distract them from what really matters; connection quality.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
Not really, if VM increased coverage significantly more than it has already, they would have to open up their network like BT has to. With all the additional burdens that would bring... and they aren't insignificant!
Posted by roughbeast over 4 years ago
VM wouldn't have to share their network if they actually laid new fibre to improve their existing network. Currently they struggle to improve upspeed because of limited capacity. They also struggle to keep latency and jitter low. In the future they will not be able compete with BTs built-for-purpose network. BT know this an so are happy to tease VM into willy waving rather than actual network improvements.
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
VM could expand if they chose to, but it's deliberate so that they don't have to open up their network. Past two years they brought their debt under control. OFCOM has confirmed VMs status as not being SMP in 2011. However, if VM went much above the 50% of market coverage they already have I can't see how they can keep that status.
Posted by dragon1945 over 4 years ago
I have copper. It is the same cable as when I moved in 47 years ago. The only "new" bit, which is 30+ years, runs from the roadside underground junction box to my front door. No wonder the phone line is noisy and BB 2MB on a good day .
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
"So BT are willy waving instead of concentrating on network improvements"

Doesn't a 2.5 billion network improvement count for anything these days ? :)
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