Openreach starts FTTP trials

Openreach (UK wholesale operator) announced last week that they will start FTTP trials during the first trimester of 2010.

You can find Openreach’s press release here with more details.

  • The tests plan to offer 40Mbps initially, which may go up to 60Mbps.
  • Upstream will be limited to 10Mbps up.

Frankly, for a FTTP trial, I find this trial very modest and there are other already operational project that offer much more bandwidth… Anyway, it is a first step so it is not bad news at all.

Anyway, I think that the UK is quite close to Spain in terms of FTTH developments. They are slightly better, but not as good as in other big countries like France, and much worse than the Northern countries.

In the UK there is real CATV competition so there are alternatives, but overall datarates are not that high…

Can any UK-based reader complement this information?


6 thoughts on “Openreach starts FTTP trials

  1. I am not what you could call a telecom ‘expert’ I am just a customer. Because I live in a rural area I have followed the digitalbritain hype for a while. I find it is disgraceful that we continue to milk an obsolete victorian copper network in the UK in this manner. There will be a few ftth/fttp trials, but there is no reason at all to run new copper to the rural areas in order to bond lines and deliver a couple of meg. DACS mean there aren’t enough pairs available for bonding, and government funding will be scamed by the incumbent to shore up the copper cabal.
    Openreach seem determined to throttle and hold back the digital revolution to keep the profits in the pockets of the fatcats and shareholders, and most people seem totally unaware of it. They don’t get IT.
    Most people in authority have PAs, secretaries, wives or kids to help them do anything related to ICT, and they don’t know the problems that lack of internet access is causing these days. Many rural areas have no connection at all, or such a poor one it isn’t worth paying for. They have no hope if something isn’t done to stop the BET solution being applied. more info and feedback on BET here

    I would have admired Openreach more if they had done this FTTP trial and delivered connectivity to a village or hamlet. We all know it is totally feasible to deliver it to urban areas, but they already get a fairly good service already. If the fibre was rolled out to the rural areas the telcos would soon provide the same in the urban ones as that is where the profit is to be made. That would mean a truly great digitalbritain with nexgen access, instead of half the country on last gen and half on stone age dial up.
    as ever, OMHO

  2. Just to make it a bit clearer that I am not a total whiner, me and the lady next door ran fibre from my community wifi meshbox connection to her house, and lit it. (with the help of some decent friends in the ‘trade’. It works great. It isn’t rocket science. Fibre to the home is far easier than wifi, and goes further, faster and better than copper. Fibre Optic cable was cheaper than copper too. films of it happening are on youtube. just search ‘wennetvideo’.

  3. Thanks for your comment, Chris. Contribution like yours help us to understand the poor coverage in rural areas. In Spain is happening the same and we have to add on top of that very poor performance also in the big cities, with very asymmetric ADSL services. No fiber 😦

  4. Our cities – well the bigger ones aren’t doing too bad with adsl and dsl, but even they only have a stopgap solution. Our backbone is being upgraded to fibre between the cities and big exchanges, but everyone is still on copper last mile. The deficiencies will soon start to be apparent even in the cities soon. The problem is by the time the government gets ‘IT’ we will be too far behind to catch up. Even in the cities which are on 20 or 40 meg, it is still rubbish compared to countries which have invested in Next Gen access.
    By the time the olympics come to London we will be a laughing stock. Only the people here won’t be amused… trouble is that whoever is in power at the time will get the blame, whereas the real blame lies at the feet of openreach and the totally useless quango that is supposed to advise the govt and protect the people. I am sorry if Spain is in the same boat. Hope your lot soon get IT. Not much hope over here, they are too interested in calling each other names. Its called an election and seems to take up an awful lot of their time and energy.

  5. I think Spain is probably ahead of the UK in terms of FTTH with the buildout in Asturias being active for a few years (correct me if I’m wrong).

    The greenfield FTTP site at Ebbsfleet offers a 2Mbps and 10 Mbps service as the main products, with “bursts” up to 100Mbps. 2Mbps over fibre – what a waste!

    Ebbsfleet is not a big site (57 homes due to be finished in 2008 if I remember right) so the Highams Park/Milton Keynes FTTP trial will be the first large scale FTTH deployment in the UK, and it won’t be ready until mid next year.

    Other FTTH projects are underway but they are mostly in the early stages.

    I guess we should focus on the fact that fibre is being put in the ground, and it’s future proof — bandwidth depends on the equipment on the ends of the link, which can be upgraded.

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