Following a successful trial in Cornwall, BT has announced that a solution to potentially allow any customer to get "ultra-fast" fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) broadband on demand.
BT’s current high-speed package, called Infinity, relies on upgrading the connection from telephone exchanges to street telephone cabinets, known as fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC). However from these cabinets to the customers premises, BT has relied on the existing copper wiring which limits the speeds available dramatically.
However, BT claims it has now developed a solution that takes advantage of the fibre it has already deployed between the exchange and the street cabinet. It says that FTTP will soon offer customers speeds of up to 300Mbps and will be available anywhere “in BT’s fibre footprint” where a customer requires it.
This means that the individual customer will have to pay to upgrade the connection between the cabinet and the house or business. This is likely to appeal most to small and medium-sized businesses which rely on a fast Internet connection to send and receive large amounts of data.
As well as announcing the expansion of the FTTP service, BT will also introduce a new faster variant of FTTC broadband this Spring. Speeds will be doubled from "up to 40Mpbs" to "up to 80Mbps", in a move which is similar to Virgin Media which has boosted its services from "up to 50Mpbs" to "up to 100Mbps" in certain areas.
BT claims that two-thirds of the UK will be able to receive fibre broadband by the end of 2014, which is in line with the UK governments promise to give the UK “the best broadband network in Europe” by 2015.
Yesterday Ofcom reported that the UK's average broadband speeds had risen by 22 per cent in the last 12 months to 7.6Mbps, but many rural areas are still struggling along on connections of under 2Mbps.