BT Openreach will reportedly be opening up its super-fast 330Mbps fibre-optic broadband network for general use after its UK trial ends on June 11. The service uses a direct fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connection.
FTTP is faster but also more complex to fit than the conventional fibre-to-the-cabinet system – as used by Virgin Media – where fibre-optic lines run to a service box down the road, with the final connection made with standard copper wiring.
As the network provider, BT Openreach will be offering three speed categories: one with a top download speed of 80Mbps (and upload of 20Mbps) and two versions of the 330Mbps service, one with a 20Mbps upload speed and another with 30Mbps.
A 220Mbps option is said to follow in early 2013. The final cost to the consumer will depend on which internet service providers sign up to use the network and how they set their pricing. Obviously BT’s retail division will be among them.
According to Recombu, the wholesale trade price table shows an £80 connection fee and £60 per month fee for the top-tier 330/30Mbps service, so an end-user’s tariff would be higher than that and have VAT as well. Heavy business users will be better placed to take advantage of the increased speeds at first.
However, reduced prices will initially be offered to ISPs for some options, including the 80/20Mbps and 330/20Mbps services, so we can expect those cost savings to be passed on to customers make the final pricing at least a bit more attractive.
BT recently announced that its general fibre broadband service is now available to 10 million premises across the UK and that this roll-out is several months ahead of schedule.