The Reading Post has an online article that features Reading East MP Rob Wilson who is pleased about the broadband prospects for the area. For those who live in this part of Reading or run a small business they may be under the impression that an upgrade program will bring them ultrafast broadband.
Alas the key three words in the article are 'for a fee', which tells us that the product is just the standard Fibre on Demand service that is due to launch in Spring 2013 to all parts of the UK where Openreach has its FTTC service available. The costs are not insignificant as the setup costs will comprise a fixed fee of £500 and then a variable fee based on costs to get the fibre to the premises (current estimate is £1000 for a 500 metre fibre run).
For a small business that is looking for something better than current FTTC services, but not the expensive monthly fees of Ethernet services the setup costs are not too shocking. For a homeowner with a couple of teenagers looking for some extra speed the cost/benefit equation will be harder to justify, though that may change as people start to find that properties with full fibre connections are selling for more money, at which point it becomes an investment in the same way as adding a conservatory.
With Fibre on Demand or pure FTTP due to be available to two thirds of the UK once Openreach completes its £2.5 billion commercial roll-out the competition to attract business to any one area may not be as easy as the Reading East MP believes based purely on broadband attractiveness.
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