Future subscribers taking part in Openreach’s (BT
) new trial of 1000Mbps “ultrafast
” Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP
/H) broadband technology in Bradford (West Yorkshire, England) will now benefit from even faster upload speeds than originally expected (up to 220Mbps), as well as a free connection and rental.
trial aims to explore if the pure fibre optic technology “can be installed faster and more efficiently in business parks and high streets
” (e.g. it will look at reducing the need for several engineers to cut and melt fibres together). As part of that it is being rolled out to serve businesses in the Kirkgate
area, with business parks in Listerhills
The full network build completed during early May 2016 and since then Openreach has been busy seeking landlord permissions and conducting further systems testing prior to going live. A future Phase Two
is also planned and this is expected to expand the network’s coverage, although Openreach has yet to confirm the locations.
Happily we can finally report that the new trial is set to officially go live from 12th August 2016
and it will then run until 31st March 2017. During this period customers will be able to order one of three different product tiers.
The Bradford Product Tiers
- 330Mbps Download (30Mbps Upload)
- 500Mbps Download (165Mbps Upload)
- 1000Mbps Download (220Mbps Upload)
Eagle eyed readers will notice that the final trial tiers have been given a boost to their upload speeds. Originally the 500Mbps product was only expected to deliver Internet uploads of 100Mbps and the 1000Mbps tier was similarly expected to offer 150Mbps, but both have now been given a sharp increase.
No reason is given for the change, although it might be to help differentiate their “premium
” pure fibre optic FTTP
options from Openreach’s more domestic focused hybrid-fibre G.fast
technology, which has slower speeds. Equally it could simply be down to the fact that Openreach found they could support those speeds and so that’s exactly what they’ve done.
More good news also stems from the fact that each of these products will come with a FREE CONNECTION and on top of that both the 500Mbps and 1000Mbps options will surprisingly also benefit from FREE RENTAL, which may be partly because Openreach hasn’t yet decided how much to charge for them (if we had to guess, we’d say 500Mbps will end up costing around £50-70 +vat and 1000Mbps will be approx. £120-150 +vat per month).
Sadly the 330Mbps option will continue to attract a standard £38 +vat per month
rental, although this is the wholesale cost and ISPs will naturally charge more at retail because they have to add data allowances, service features, profit margins and various other costs on top.
All of this is of course in keeping with Gavin Patterson
Group CEO) commitment to “accelerate the deployment of fibre-to-the-premises significantly
) and they recently announced a plan to roll-out FTTP to 2 million UK premises by 2020
(around half of those will be businesses).
However the trial in Bradford, which is being supported by ISPs like BT, AAISP
, Zen Internet
and others, does have some competition from Cityfibre
, which alongside Exa Networks
has launched its own 1000Mbps FTTP broadband network for businesses in the city (here
). Not forgetting that Virgin Media
are also expanding the reach of their DOCSIS
and FTTP networks. It’s wonderful to see pure fibre optic infrastructure competition like this.