Further to my previous post in March 2012, Openreach have now published more details of their FTTP on demand pilot service, due to launch commercially in spring 2013 in FTTC-enabled areas (commentary from ISP Review here). From BT's press release:
"The pilot will be held in two phases so that Openreach has sufficient time to explore and resolve the challenges in deploying the service with its Communications Provider (CP) customers. Phase one, which is intended to test the planning and construction process, will run from July 2012 to early 2013 and allow participating CPs to place orders for a 330Mbps downstream, and either 20 or 30Mbps upstream service in parts of High Wycombe, Bristol South as well as in St Agnes, Cornwall where the service was first trialled. Edinburgh’s Waverley exchange will be added to the pilot in September 2012. Phase two, which will run from March to May 2013, will test new automated order processes, and focus on the 330Mbps downstream, 30Mbps upstream product. In addition to the first four areas, this phase will see the pilot extended to parts of Watford, Cardiff, Basingstoke, and Manchester Central...CPs will be able to order the service where there is interest and then assist Openreach with the cost of deployment. It will then be up to the CP to decide whether to absorb that likely one-off charge, recover it through higher monthly prices or pass it on in full to their customer."Reference is also made to the planned FTTP on demand service in this press release about the impact of BT's recently announced superfast broadband rollout plans in Coventry and Warwickshire:
"By spring 2013 BT aims to make speeds of 330Mbps commercially available in any area where fibre broadband has been deployed...Openreach will levy an installation charge for FTTP on demand. It will be up to service providers to then decide whether they pass that onto businesses or consumers wishing to take advantage of the product."An interesting charging model, the success of projects like Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) indicates that there is strong demand for fibre connectivity and also that people are prepared to pay for it. It will be interesting to monitor takeup when the commercial service launches next year.