London to get first BT brownfield FTTH trial

Highams Park in north-east London will be the first existing residential area to benefit from BT's fibre-to-the-home pilot

BT is to begin its first brownfield pilot of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in the Highams Park area of north-east London

Previously, the IT and telecommunications giant tested a greenfield deployment FTTH at the new Ebbsfleet development in Kent, but the Highams Park pilot will mark BT's first such deployment in an existing residential area with a copper-based telecoms infrastructure.

The news was revealed by the thinkbroadband website on Friday. A spokesperson for BT confirmed the Highams Park brownfield trial to ZDNet UK, but said the company was not yet prepared to provide further details, such as the timing of the pilot.

FTTH is the most expensive way of deploying high-speed, next-generation broadband connectivity to homes and businesses, particularly where a copper infrastructure exists. BT's fibre rollout will therefore mostly entail fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC), where fibre-optic connectivity is extended as far as the street cabinet, and the connections between the cabinet and buildings remains copper-based.

BT began its first FTTC trial at the start of July, in the north London suburb of Muswell Hill and the Cardiff suburb of Whitchurch. The company said in July last year that it intended to roll out some form of fibre connectivity to as many as 10 million UK homes by 2012.

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