BT Openreach to launch 300 Mbps FTTP broadband service in 2012

BT Openreach (NYSE: BT) is finally making good on its promise to provide a 300 Mbps Fiber to the Premises (FTTP)-based service beginning next spring.

BT Openreach van

Source: BT Openreach

Offered on a wholesale basis to competitive carriers like Talk Talk (LSE: TALK), BT will initially offer a 110/15 Mbps and 110/30 Mbps speed service beginning at the end of October in six Brownfield markets, including Ashford (Middlesex), Bradwell Abbey, Chester South, Highams Park, St Austell, and York. Since 2008, BT has been delivering FTTP-based service in a Greenfield development in Ebbsfleet.

BT said the GPON technology it's using can also deliver up to 1 Gbps speeds that it is trialing in Kesgrave, Suffolk.

Interestingly, the incumbent provider's FTTP announcement comes on the heels of a proposal put forth by Neelie Kroes, European Union's Digital Agenda commissioner, to cut copper access costs in the hopes of encouraging incumbent service providers to invest more in FTTx-based last mile broadband networks.

But according to an ISPReview article, the service is far from perfect. For one, early adopters will have to purchase a standard voice line because the service won't initially offer a built-in voice service. In addition, BT said it won't provide guaranteed levels of service because it needs to "analyse our early deployment of service."

While FTTP is clearly the focus here, BT continues to make progress with its Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC) initiative. Leveraging new technologies including bonding and VDSL2, the service provider plans to roughly double the speeds it can deliver from up to 40 Mbps to 80 Mbps.

For more:
- see the release
- Reuters has this article
- ISPReview has this article

Related articles:
BT Openreach to bring FTTC service to additional 114 telephone exchanges
BT sets sights on 80 Mbps FTTC service in 2012
BT makes an Olympic FTTC effort ahead of 2012 Games
BT testing the water with FTTC, VDSL