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BT launching 110Mbps broadband from March 2011

Telco gives details of first wholesale fibre to the home product
Written by Shelley Portet, Contributor

Telco gives details of first wholesale fibre to the home product

BT will sell wholesale fibre to the home (FTTH) broadband in Milton Keynes and London from March 2011.

The telco has been trialling FTTH in Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes, and Highams Park, London since January this year.

Once these trials end in March, BT Openreach will begin selling wholesale access for the service, enabling ISPs to resell FTTH to customers in the two areas.

BT said the 110Mbps wholesale FTTH service will be advertised as providing a "guaranteed" speed of 100Mbps.

"BT is providing 110Mbps so that customers will get a minimum of 100Mbps because inevitably there will be some drop in speeds," a BT spokesman told silicon.com. While all FTTH fibre lines are technically capable of delivering 100Mbps, 100Mbps will not be possible at all times owing to contention rates.

Fibre broadband: BT to wholesale FTTH

BT is to launch a wholesale 110Mbps broadband service next year
(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

A second guarantee states FTTH subscribers will receive a "20Mbps prioritised rate" - meaning 20Mbps will be the bare minimum offered by the service. "The 20Mbps is in a situation where everyone is maxing out their maximum speeds," said the spokesman, adding: "The chances of that happening are pretty rare."

BT has also released details of wholesale pricing for the fibre to the home wholesale product.

ISPs will have to shell out £258.48 per year for the FTTH service - or £157.80 if they also purchase BT's ADSL copper broadband service.

BT is investing £2.5bn to expand its fibre footprint to two-thirds of the UK by 2015 - with 25 per cent of that rollout being FTTH, and 75 being the slower fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) offering.

Last month the telco revealed Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly can expect widespread FTTH by 2014, after it committed £78.5m to part fund a fibre rollout, with the European Regional Development Fund also contributing £53.5m.

Beyond Cornwall, London and Milton Keynes, BT has not yet announced details of other UK regions where it will offer the 110Mbps wholesale service. However earlier this month it launched a survey to measure demand for fibre broadband across the UK to help it identify which exchanges will get fibre upgrades as part of the £2.5bn rollout.

The telco has also previously hooked up around 10,000 homes with fibre in a greenfield site - Ebbsfleet Valley in Kent.

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