BT Retail announces it is to finally offer a 300 Mbps Infinity FTTP based product with 20 Mbps uploads. This comes along with the news of a Home Hub 5 which will feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi, four GigE LAN ports and a VDSL2 modem for use in FTTC areas.
BT Retail is not the first to market as Claranet SOHO have a 300 Mbps download, 19 Mbps upload unlimited FTTP based service available along with other small providers, though at a higher price of £95.99+VAT a month. These speeds are available to around 100,000 premises in some 50 parts of the UK where Openreach has rolled its FTTP products over the last couple of years, with a good number of those down in Cornwall. In areas where FTTP is the only fibre service available the other speed points of 40, 80 to match the FTTC products are available for the standard price.
The prices seem high, but if you time travel to ten years or more years ago, we were all paying £40 to £50 per month for a 0.5 Mbps ADSL based service and thought that was a bargain compared to the cost of dial-up access and it felt mega-fast at the time.
There is a hint about what BT Retail is doing with the Fibre on Demand service, and the suggestion is that they plan to sell it initially to business based customers, which is likely to be a side effect of the 36 month contract the service requires and the train of thought that only businesses can afford the high upfront costs. Though when you consider the price that people pay to add a conservatory or spend on a massive BBQ pit for their home, there will be a small but keen group of early adopters who want the best connection for their home or where the line between business and consumer is very blurry.