The days of having to use the Openreach VDSL2 modem may be coming to an end, though the current pilot indicates it is not a total free for all, but rather the communications provider will have a choice of hardware. This means we may seen single box solutions from people like TalkTalk and Sky, what BT Wholesale does may be the subject of their own trials.
A key advantage to TalkTalk and Sky could be that they can integrate extra services and specific ports for the connection of IPTV devices and possibly at last utilise the multicast options available over the VDSL2 product range and other possible innovations that arise when you have tighter control of the modem and router.
The pilot is set to start in Q1 2013 and will carry a participation fee from the communications provider, with Openreach looking for fairly large numbers of connections to take part so that they can fully assess the impact on the network and possibly costs of subsequent fault handling. Assuming the pilot completes successfully current indications are that the cost of FTTC activations could drop to around £40 to £50, this relatively high level is still required as someone has to visit the street cabinet to connect the telephone line to the VDSL hardware.
While the pilot is not looking to deliver a full wires-only service like ADSL/ADSL2+ services offer, there is nothing stopping the providers using hardware that exposes most of the data such as line statistics that most people want to see in the new hardware.