We thought today would be rather timely to post an update about our fibre trials. Today saw the first customer in the UK to go live on BT's Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) trial and he's a Plusnet customer!
One of the first things he did was run a speedtest and this was the result:
Latency to the BBC 5-6ms
(note: as with DSL there will be a certain amount of overheads on the connection).
You can read his initial feedback in our forums.
Our next batch of FTTP customers are expected to go live on the trial in the next couple of weeks.
We have about a dozen customers currently lined up in Milton Keynes to go on the trial and will be contacting other customers in the trial area to see if they would like to take part later in the trial. If you are in the area please feel free to post in our trial forum and we can check if you're in one of the trial areas.
FTTP offers speeds of up to 100Mbps down and currently up to 15Mbps up (the upstream will be increased later in the trial). Unlike existing DSL broadband services there's no copper involved in the connection, an engineer will run fibre optic cable direct to your home. As such certain limitations on copper such as the speed decreasing the further you are from the exchange are no longer an issue.
Is 100Mbps overkill? What will people find to do with 100Mbps? It's hard to say, from an application point of view what services will make best use of speeds that high? File downloads will benefit of course and the faster upload will really help people that send large files or host services. Our first thoughts on the faster downloads will be the benefits it gives to people with slower speeds. For those with speeds under 2-3Mbps on DSL the difference will be huge. Where in the past they may have struggled to watch online video for example they can now watch iPlayer HD with ease and also download files at the same time and have someone else in the household play games or watch another HD stream at the same time.
We've begun an FAQ page for FTTP here and will add to it as and when more questions come up.
The big question people will be asking is "when can I get it?". At the moment the trial is very limited in availability. The trial is currently limited to parts of the Milton Keynes and will expand to Highhams Park in London in the next few weeks. In the coming months we're expecting two further exchanges, Leytonstone and York to be added to the trial. Not all areas covered by each of the exchange will be able to get FTTP.
The broadband availability checker is being updated to say when an individual line can get FTTP.
We expect that the rollout of FTTP will continue into further areas next year in a similar way to Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) has been doing.
Some customers will remember we began trialling FTTC a year ago.
Our trial is still ongoing, we now have about 65 customers on the FTTC trial. The results of the trial are very promising with most of our customers seeing download speeds above 30Mbps down and 6Mbps up.
Areas that offer FTTC are expanding on a weekly basis as more exchanges and cabinets are enabled. A list of the exchanges to get FTTC is available here with approximate dates.
Like FTTP not every line on an exchange will be able to get FTTC as not every cabinet will be enabled and not every line will be able to support FTTC.
If your exchange is on the list as being enabled then to check if your cabinet is ready and your line can support it you can check this using the availability checker.
You must though check using the phone number as postcodes can be served by more than one cabinet.
If you would like to take part in the trial and your line can get FTTC then please have a read through the FAQs and T's & C's and raise a ticket via the link here.
You can discuss either trial in our dedicated Fibre Trials forum here.
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