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BT announces two FTTC pilots
|14 октября 2008|
BT Openreach on Monday announced plans to launch two fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) pilots in summer 2009.
The scheme will see two exchanges, one in London and one in Glamorgan, South Wales, used to provide FTTC-based services to a total of 15,000 customer premises in each area.
Openreach said that users involved in the pilots will experience headline speeds of up to 40 megabits per second.
"Services in these areas will be available to all U.K. communication providers on a wholesale basis," said David Campbell, director of next-generation access at Openreach, in a statement.
However, the incumbent operator's access network division said before it launches the pilots it plans in early 2009 to conduct a technical trial of fibre-based services at an exchange in Suffolk.
The schemes will also follow Openreach's earlier tests at a new development in Kent, where in January it installed a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network to 10,000 homes and businesses.
Campbell commented that the London and Glamorgan pilots will allow Openreach to test its products in both "urban and semi-rural environments".
"It was also necessary to take into account current network topology and our ability to run testing procedures in the chosen areas," he added.
Monday's news follows an announcement earlier in July, when BT pledged to invest £1.5 billion in a next-generation access network based on a combination of FTTC, and FTTP in the case of some greenfield sites.
Still, despite this sizeable investment, BT indicated at the beginning of October that subsidies or public-private partnerships might be required to rollout new infrastructure to unprofitable remote areas.
Furthermore, the Broadband Stakeholder Group in September announced that rolling out a nationwide FTTC network would cost at least £5.1 billion, while a U.K.-wide fibre-to-the-home network (FTTH) based on point-to-point fibre would cost as much as £28.8 billion.
Openreach also hinted Monday at a timeframe for launching commercial services.
"We expect to announce detailed plans for the initial market deployment of the Openreach product in early 2010, again following consultation with all interested parties," said Campbell.