Openreach to trial FTTP in brownfield sites

OCTOBER 2, 2009 -- Two locations -- Bradwell Abbey in Milton Keynes and Highams Park, London -- have been selected for the trial, which will see speeds up to 100 Mbps delivered to as many as 20,000 homes and businesses in each area by March 2010.

OCTOBER 2, 2009 -- Openreach, the local access network division of BT, has announced it will trial fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology in "brownfield" sites for the first time beginning in January 2010.

Two locations -- Bradwell Abbey in Milton Keynes and Highams Park, London -- have been selected for the trial, which will see speeds up to 100 Mbps delivered to as many as 20,000 homes and businesses in each area by March 2010. The trial products will be available to all U.K. communications providers on an open, wholesale basis.

The trial forms part of BT's plans to deliver super-fast broadband speeds to 10 million premises by 2012, using a combination of FTTP and fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology. The company has already pledged to make such services available to 1.5 million homes by summer of 2010.

Openreach is delivering the highest residential broadband speeds in the U.K. at a greenfield housing development in Ebbsfleet Valley, Kent. Customers in the area are experiencing downstream speeds up to 100 Mbps using FTTP technology.

Openreach will now trial FTTP to brownfield developments to enhance its understanding of the technology's performance and the economics involved when rolling out fiber directly to premises in areas where copper services are already available.

A mix of FTTC and FTTP technologies will be deployed in BT's superfast broadband roll-out, with FTTC expected to be the most widely deployed technology. FTTC will deliver downstream speeds up to 40 Mbps, potentially rising to more than 60 Mbps in the future.

Customers using both the FTTP and FTTC products will also receive the highest upstream speeds currently available in the U.K., at up to 10 Mbps.

"This trial is crucial for informing our plans to consider deploying FTTP alongside FTTC. Our FTTP deployment in Ebbsfleet has allowed us to learn a great deal about rolling out fiber directly to homes in greenfield areas, and we believe that the technology has huge potential for brownfield areas, too," says David Campbell, managing director of next-generation access, Openreach. "We've worked closely with communications providers and regional development authorities in selecting these sites for the FTTP brownfield trial, and I'd like to encourage as many communications providers as possible to get involved in the trial."


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