BT Openreach launches gigabit speeds to consumers

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Openreach, BT’s local network business, has announced that it will more than double the speeds available over its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, boosting the maximum download speeds available from 330Mb/s to one 1Gb/s.

The new faster services will be available to homes and businesses across the entire FTTP footprint. The company’s wholesale FTTP network currently passes more than 327,000 homes and businesses, which is on track to double in size over the next 12 months and reach up to two million premises by the end of 2020, according to BT.

Openreach will launch two additional wholesale products over FTTP on 6 December 2016, including a new up to 500Mb/s product – with an upload speed of up to 165Mb/s – and an up to 1Gbps option with an upload speed of up to 220Mb/s. The complete FTTP portfolio will range from 40/2Mb/s, available from £15.29 per calendar month (wholesale), up to 1Gb/s/220Mbps, available from £80 per calendar month (wholesale).

The upgrades are part of BT’s plan to make ultrafast speeds available to up to 12 million UK premises in the same timeframe, using a mix of fibre technologies (see BT touts £6B ultrafast broadband investment). The company believes that these new products will be of particular interest to small and medium businesses.

Clive Selley, Openreach CEO, said: “We’re committed to taking the UK from being a superfast to an ultrafast nation, and whilst we’re extending the reach of our fibre-to-the-premises network, we’re also boosting the speed and variety of the services we can offer over it.”

Dedicated ultrafast lines of up to 10Gbps – known as Ethernet – are already available from Openreach to companies throughout the UK, but back in June, the company committed to launch even faster speeds over FTTP which would offer businesses an alternative.

Openreach has also been trailing new processes and techniques – including ‘plug and play’ technology – to deploy FTTP more quickly and efficiently across the UK. The trials have cut installation times down from requiring multiple visits by an engineer to a simple two-hour appointment, the company said.

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