Openreach, the it's-a-separate-company-honest technical arm of dominant UK telco BT, has announced that it is to begin trials of fibre-to-the-home broadband connectivity in August of this year. Don't get too excited, though: the trial is only for a limited geographical area.
The company plans to run fibre-optic cabling to 10,000 new homes being built at Ebbsfleet in Kent in order to offer lucky home buyers 100Mb/s Internet connectivity. The top-end packages are expected to wholesale for £52 per month, meaning retail prices are likely to top out at £70 per month for a 100Mb/s downstream and 2Mb/s upstream connection.
There's no news yet of any suppliers actually offering such a package, and it's rather more likely that the property management companies would buy the top-end guaranteed bandwidth package and then sell shared access to tenants. Openreach has also announced several other speed points, including 30Mb/s, 10Mb/s, and the rather unimpressive 500Kb/s and 135Kb/s packages.
For those who think uncontended fibre would be a good way to escape from the often false 'up-to' claims of ADSL offerings, there's bad news. The only packages with 'assured' bandwidth are those up to and including 10Mb/s – everything else comes with the proviso 'speeds up to'.
Something else missing from the documentation provided by Openreach is any mention of data transfer caps – 100Mb/s is all well and good, but it's pretty useless if you get kicked off after you hit 5GB like with some of the ADSL packages offered by parent company BT.
Still, faster broadband is always welcome – especially in the form of noise and interference-free fibre-optics.
Fancy buying a house in Kent just to get quicker downloads, or does ADSL2+ serve your needs nicely? Let us know via the forums