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.