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BT reveals ultra-fast cable blowing plan for homes, biz

'Fibre-to-the-premise on demand' in 2013

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BT is talking up plans to bring its ultra-fast fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband network to more of its customers in early 2013.

The national telco also reiterated that it would be offering faster fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) speeds from this spring.

FTTP hooks punters directly to the exchanges using fast fibre, rather than ageing metal wires, whereas FTTC involves running fibre cables only as far as the cabinet boxes on the street from the exchange - leaving the "last mile" to the home as copper wire, which acts as a speed bump for net connections.

However if the connection between the cabinets and homes, or businesses, are upgraded to carry super-fast broadband, they effectively offer an FTTP-like service, or "FTTP on demand". BT has completed testing of trials of this so-called on-demand service in St Agnes, Cornwall.

The majority of BT's customers will therefore be able to get a broadband speed boost even if they go via a cabinet, although the company didn't disclose how many punters would be offered the new service.

It plans to start selling the on-demand service to telcos in spring 2013 and is making a play for SMEs to upgrade to FTTP, for which BT will soon offer download speeds of up to 300Mbit/s.

As previously announced by BT, the company's FTTC service is expected within the next few months to start delivering downstream speeds of up to 80Mbit/s and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps.

Openreach boss Liv Garfield, whose division is the only part of BT's biz that saw an increase in revenue during the company's third quarter, said: “Essentially [FTTP on demand]... could make our fastest speeds available wherever we deploy fibre. This will be welcome news for small businesses who may wish to benefit from the competitive advantage that such speeds provide." ®

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