BT Fall Short of Their 25% Fibre Coverage of the UK

This post is a summary of the report produced by Barry Collins for PCPro.

Once upon a time, BT promised to deliver fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) to 25% of the country, with the rest catered for by the slower fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC), which uses copper wiring to deliver the final stretch of the connection.

Recently, however BT was forced to admit that only 0.7% of the UK can get a full end-to-end fibre (FTTP) broadband service from the company. That means it passes just 144,000 premises, although the actual uptake is “much lower”.

This poses the question whether BT’s fibre roll out (supported by hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money) is sufficiently future-proof, with copper wire likely to become the bottleneck when the company seeks to boost broadband speeds in the years to come. FTTP, on the other hand, provides almost limitless potential for future speed increases.

There’s already a huge discrepancy between FTTP download speeds, which top out at 330Mbits/sec on BT’s network, and FTTC, which has a maximum speed of 80Mbits/sec. FTTC speeds also drop off the further the customer is from their local cabinet.

True fibre?

This revelation came about when BT responded to a complaint made by two members of the public who claimed that describing the copper-based FTTP connections as “fibre-optic broadband” was misleading.

BT argued that:

“The enormous increase in the availability of FTTC broadband since 2008 meant that customers were far more likely than they had previously been to understand exactly what FTTC was and were consequently less likely to be misled by the use of the terms ‘fibre optic'”.

The Advertising Standards Authority sided with BT, ruling that:

“Consumers who might be interested in ‘fibre optic’ broadband of one sort or another would primarily be concerned with the improved speed and performance which could be delivered in comparison to an ADSL connection, and the cost at which that service could be obtained, rather than being concerned with obtaining the most technologically advanced fibre optic product available at any cost”.

 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

What Is Broadband Anyway?

Over the months, we have reported on what’s happening with Suffolk’s bid to get faster broadband.

The project will finally provide Suffolk with world class broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps by the end of 2015. Some lucky areas will have access to ultra-fast broadband speeds of up to 330Mbps and, from Spring 2013, anyone in a FTTC enabled area can upgrade to FTTP ‘on demand’ if they need faster speeds.

Fantastic.

But what exactly is FTTC and FTTP?

Well, they are the 2 different ways in which your broadband can be delivered from the exchange: fibre to cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to premises (FTTP).

FTTC uses fibre-optic cables right up to the street cabinet, when it then uses copper wires to connect the cabinet to homes and businesses. This gives wholesale download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps.

FTTP, on the other hand, means fibre-optic cables run right to your door, providing wholesale download speeds of up to 330Mbps and upload speeds of up to 30Mbps.

The BT Openreach video below explains more.

The investment will help Suffolk’s economy and enabling businesses to work more effectively in new ways with its customers.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.