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The Internet Networking United Kingdom Technology

BT Promises 300Mbps FTTP By 2012 121

twoheadedboy writes "UK service provider BT has launched its Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) product, pledging it will offer downstream speeds of 300Mbps by spring next year. At present, the service can hit 110Mbps downstream speeds and will be available in just six locations from the end of October. More locations will be added and speeds will rise, however, with a 1Gbps service currently being trialled in Kesgrave, Suffolk. There may be continuing disputes over BT Openreach's pricing of fibre products, given the recent industry in-fighting. Nevertheless, 300Mbps fibre will provide some pretty speedy downloads for end users."
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BT Promises 300Mbps FTTP By 2012

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  • by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @12:45AM (#37622406)
    So you can hit your data cap in just hours now! WooHoo!
    • by Impeesa ( 763920 )
      Wouldn't be surprised, in which case, not impressed. Starting sometime very soon, my ISP claims they'll be offering 250Mbps over regular cable [], with either 1TB or unlimited monthly transfer. The price is high for a residential connection, of course, but you don't have wait for them to run fibre to your neighbourhood.
      • by mirix ( 1649853 )

        Wow, they're finally offering >1MBps upload for under $100. About fucking time.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        youre better off with teksavvy than shaw.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      So you can hit your data cap in just hours now! WooHoo!

      Reading the small print, 300 Mbps fibre will only be available in one or two select suburbs (read: the richest) and wont expand beyond that.

    • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

      We're in the UK - the top level plans here tend to be free of caps.

      Virgin's top couple of fibre tiers are completely cap-free (50Mb, 100Mb [200 in places]). I'm on the 50Mb tier and am paying a very reasonable amount (similar to my friends in Columbus, OH), for more than 4 times the speed. Decent latency too with extremely rare outages (and never for very long if they do happen).

      My internet has been hassle free and very fast for the nearly 2 years I've had it.

      • Virgin is a bit unusual. Most ADSL providers (who all use BT's backbone) do use caps, because BT imposes caps in their wholesale rates and doesn't. Oh, and you do have a cap - you can only upload 6000MB between 3PM and 8PM.
        • Indeed, when I had Virgin, I found them very bursty. Yes I'd get what was 11Mbit on my line but it would only hold that for a few hundred megs or so, then it slipped down to around 3, never did much uploading but downloading would cause Virgin to strangle the line.

          I'm currently on BT ADSL (which is, fineish except for a drop out every night for a few seconds) on a line outside my control (I don't pay for this one so I don't choose providers). It is at least consistent with the data rates at around 7Mbi
          • Virgin documents their throttling rules, and I've found that they do follow their policy. I can get 1.1MB/s on my 10Mb/s line until I go over the cap, then it drops to about 250KB/s. I've only managed to hit the cap twice: once when I had to upload about 20GB of video footage to my publisher (screencasts with no interframe compression) and once when I decided to watch a film on iPlayer HD in the early evening (you hit the cap after about 55 minutes at iPlayer HD bitrates - that's what's making me consider
        • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

          Ah yes, they changed the policy in exchange for the increased upload speeds (was cap-free when it was 50/1 and changed to only monitor traffic between 3pm and 8pm when it went to 50/5 - but downstream is never capped at all).

          I could certainly exceed that 6GB in the time slot if I was uploading at full speed for the whole 5 hours, but in practice I have not run up against any issue. The 50Mb plan has been well worth the money for me.

        • You can upload more than that, just that when you hit 6GB, your upload speed drops to 1.75Mbit instead of 5Mbit. SO it's not really a "Cap" and it's still a pretty generous one if it is.

    • Actually, they offer (truely) unlimited services at the high end (which this is). What angers me more about this is that they're busy wasting time installing FTTP for people, while FTTC has barely got out of major cities. There are still some fairly large cities (aberdeen for example) where FTTC simply doesn't exist, and if you're in a town, screw any chance of that!

      I'd much rather they spent their money on getting moderately fast internet out to everyone, rather than super fast to a very few, and super s

  • So you can now hit your bandwidth cap faster than ever? At a certain point, latency is the biggest problem to contend with, not bandwidth.
  • by slyguy135 ( 844866 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @12:48AM (#37622414)

    In Hong Kong it's easy to get 1Gbps FTTP, e.g. with HGC (aka Three) for HK$198 a month (about US$25 or 16 GBP a month): []

    • I dunno, but maybe even if Hong Kong has this the English might like their broadband connections a little bit closer to their homes?

      I (Netherlands) just this morning had my fibre installed into the house, and live in a small rural town. They have a nice system where they start a campaign in each individual town, and when more that 30% preorder a fibre glass connection, they connect the whole village/town/city in one go, free of costs.

      That might be a model that could provide for quick rollouts in other count

    • Meanwhile in the US, many of us are still dealing with DSL and 2 Mbps down, .3 Mbps up. Even in NYC, depending on the neighborhood, you might not be able to get a 10Mbps symmetrical connection for less than $1,500/month.

  • I'd love to be able to transfer files that fast; I can't be the only one who misread the title.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @01:13AM (#37622548) Homepage

    I have 60/60 Mbit fiber for about $100/month here in Norway. All it'd take to have 400/400 Mbit fiber is one phone call and about $1000/month. Some operators in the chain even say up to 1000/1000 Mbit, call us for pricing. No caps and I've had ~6 MB/s both downloading and uploading. Before with cable and DSL it was always how far are you from the central, how clogged are our lines. With fiber it's only a matter of how much you want to pay, really. After all they have to keep some pretty fat pipes to the backbone for that line to be useful, that's what costs money now.

    • Ah how I miss fedrelandet. Here in the UK my
      I did have fibre at one place I lived a few years ago, but while the line got the full speed they offered (20mb at the time) as is usual with Virgin UK, and indeed all UK providers, "we don't support upload"...whatever that means. In practice it meant a 20/0.7mbps line. In addition, because it was FTTC, the whole area was oversaturated to the point where latency was off the charts. Speeds were good, but a ping to the server in the next town was 500ms+ with jitt
      • hmm, i must remember not to use > and < that first line should say "Here in the UK my (less than)1mbps (yes, mb not MB) suckfest is starting to get to me."
        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          Yep, slashcode doesn't like it. You can use &lt; and &gt; for < and > respectively though.

        • (less than)1mbps (yes, mb not MB)

          Tell your ISP that RFC 1149 was an April Fools joke and to up the MTU for your connection into integers.

          • Sadly my town does not have its own phone exchange, so we have to use neighboring towns to the east or west depending on where we live. I am right in the middle, therefore the exchange is over 6 miles away. There is no fibre. Repeated appeals to have fibre brought to the remaining streets in the town (about 2/3 is cabled) has been denied by Virgin saying it is not economically viable.
    • by N1AK ( 864906 )
      I'm glad you like the service you get. That said you're paying 4x as much for broadband than most standard packages in the UK. You're clearly getting a better package for that money, but I doubt the majority of UK users would swap given the price difference. I'm a heavy web user (though I stopped torrenting years ago) and the ~$15 a month package I'm on does what I need. None of that means I don't want lines to improve, better lines will allow more services over the internet etc.
      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Around here you can't get Internet for $15/month. About $40/month is common for a slow DSL line, like 2/0.5 Mbit or so. Decently speedy lines are $60-80, with fiber taking another premium on top of that.

        • But these prices are out of context for people who do not realise the difference in price levels for Norway. Take those prices, alongside the minimum wage rate and average cost of a Big Mac, and you can see it is not that expensive, relative to other commodities.
          • by Kjella ( 173770 )

            But these prices are out of context for people who do not realise the difference in price levels for Norway. Take those prices, alongside the minimum wage rate and average cost of a Big Mac, and you can see it is not that expensive, relative to other commodities.

            True, I'm just not sure how valid the comparison would be. A Big Mac largely reflects local wages and local ingredient prices, while computer equipment is almost to a dollar the same except for taxes and such around the world. There's a lot of expensive equipment in the fiber itself, the boxes and the centrals which would cost the same throughout the world. Other things like actually laying down the cables and running the company itself follows local wages, so I suppose it would be somewhat cheaper but it p

            • SKy BB - 7.50 per month for totally unlimited use

              • by Kjella ( 173770 )

                SKy BB - 7.50 per month for totally unlimited use

                And the small print []:

                When you take a Sky TV package (from £20 a month)
                with Sky Talk & Line Rental (£12.25 a month)

                So if you already pay at least 32.25 you can add 7.50 for broadband, that's hardly a fair comparison. The lowest you can get broadband only for is 10 + 12.25 = 22.25/month, three times your quoted price.

            • by TheSync ( 5291 )

              Trenching and the regulatory / zoning hurdles involved with such are a major cost for US broadband deployments.

        • 2/0.5mbps isn't slow. There's plenty of folks around these parts that would be thrilled for the upgrade. Personally, I'm fortunate enough to live in a part of the city where I can get somewhat quicker service.

          That being said, I'm jealous of the UK in this case, it's not likely that I'll have access to a connection like that at any price until sometime in the 2020s at the earliest unless something is done to break up the regional duopoly between CenturyLink and Comcast.

    • I have 50/50 Mbit fiber for about $40/month in Sweden. No caps. This includes IP telephony (pay cheap rate for calls but no subscription fee).

      So $100 sounds expensive... :-)

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        I know, you're years ahead of us on paying off the initial cost. You guys had BBB and the like while we were barely getting started on ADSL, our fiber rollout has really been in the last few years. We're both just rubbing it in for the US guys though.

        In Norway 73% of the households have broadband in a country with an average population density equal to Maine. We just passed 10 Mbit/s average and 5 Mbit/s mean this month, here's the statistics [], green is average and blue is mean speed. And to anyone who reply

      • Slashdot needs a "-1 I hate you" mod. We pay almost the same for 7/0.5Mbit. Oh, and a 200GB limit that charges $2.00/GB overages.
        • Well you could always buy a gun and start shooting up things to vent your frustration. That's something that's damn near impossible here. :-) (Both the buying and discharging a firearm outside a range.)

          No, seriously, every place has their ups and downs. I'm just happy that we have one "up" in an area that's at least useful to me... You have others.

  • Wonder if any of those six locations will again include the IT powerhouse of Hambleden, Oxfordshire? []

  • Since by then we won't be able to do anything that would utilize those speeds anyway. The way things are going, everything will be locked down tight.
  • I have been waiting for FTTP for years after having used it in Japan years ago. If they manage to make it generally available by next year then we will be maintaining our position at about 10 years behind the leaders. Various European countries are 7 or 8 years ahead of us too.

    I really frustrates me, and I'm not just talking about broadband. For example Dyson vacuum cleaners are often released in Japan a few years ahead of the UK, despite them being a UK product. Take the Dyson City for example, we got it a

    • We used to lead the world in engineering and technology.

      When was this?? I was under the impression the UK creedo was "Older is better" or "innovation is scary" or "technology is unnecessary".

      • by sgt101 ( 120604 )

        Well - you know; the industrial revolution thing; the development of aircraft thing (as in jet engines); the development of computing thing (colossus); anti-biotics and a few other bits and bobs.

        • My response was more in jest, but you can't deny the very British notion of "we have always done it this way, why change?" such as when I noticed people burning garden waste in their gardens, or making a big gory game of hunting foxes, or tiny roads not suited for modern vehicles.
  • BT earmarked my town for Fibre to the Cabinet last November, now their current plans say it's going to be March. Deeply irritating.

    That said, I'm incredibly close to my cabinet so when I finally do get it, I should get great speeds, 30mb+ hopefully.
    • I would not get my hopes up. Just because they are rolling out FTTC for your exchange does not mean they are bringing it to your cabinet. I recently was overjoyed that my exchange was getting FTTC, since my current speed sits at 0.5mbps. Upon further research it seemed they probably will not be bringing it to my cabinet. BT usually only provide FTTC to 40-50% of the cabs on the exchange.
  • BT is truly the master of disingenuous advertising, particularly when it comes to broadband speed and availability.

    "FTTC" does not, for instance, mean "Fibre to the cabinet". It means "Fibre to some of the cabinets served by this particular telephone exchange. If your cabinet isn't one of them, sucks to be you."

    Similarly "FTTP" means "We're running fibre out from the exchange to a limited area. If you happen to be lucky enough to be in that area, you can get fibre to the premises. Probably."

    I predict BT wil

    • by Xugumad ( 39311 )

      Exactly. I hear a lot of about "Oh, the UK has such and such a speed" and "BT promises xyz".

      Y'know what? I'm on an "up to" 24mbs line, which actually gives me 10mbs, BT provides "up to" 8mbs in this area, which is actually more like 2-4.

      Yes, some areas get really really fast connections, but don't be fooled into thinking that this is UK-wide.

      • Try Virgin - 2 Shops in Bournemouth (Large conurbation in UK) hawking broadband et al, I live within a few meters of the exchange in the centre of town, but "sorry we don't have cable to that road" ... i.e. the road with the telephone exchange in it ..!

        The randomness of their coverage is odd beyond belief

  • The latest BT offering (infinity, I think they call it) gives speeds up to, I think, 40MB/s if your exchange and local cabinet support it. Part of that bandwidth is ringfenced off to provide a public wi-fi access point to other BT customers. The idea is that if you're a BT customer, you can use any of those hotspots from your phone/mobile device. If enough people sign up, you can probably find coverage in most streets.

    I'm hoping they've got the security model locked down though, as I presume it's a conditio

  • You know, up to 300Mbs?

    Wake me up when they offer binding contracts to provide minimum speeds. Until then, it's just marketwank.

  • I had BT fibre to my place for a while. It was awesome and very reliable (one of the reasons why I went for it). But chatting to the engineer it turned out there is another reason why BT are keen to push forward with fibre - a certain section of the community are pinching copper wire. Fibre does not have much resale value, if any, and can last longer. I was near the sea and it turned out one reason why fibre was installed was because the original wiring was degrading faster than expected. So upgrading has o

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      It's not even that, because of OFCOM reducing BT's monopoly over the years and the likes of Virgin growing their fibre network, South Yorkshire getting EU funding for it's own fibre network and so forth BT have been scared of having to actually compete.

      As such they've basically said to OFCOM, look, we'll roll fibre out across the UK as long as we can retain a monpoly on it, and OFCOM has let them get away with it because it's the only way some areas will ever get fibre.

      So it's really just about BT retaining

  • 30mb/3mb connection with Virgin. £27 a month with no need for a phone line or paying any form of "line rental" to BT, infact I dont even have a phone line in the building.

    Their trafic management policy is nicely listed here: []

    I get on average 33mb down and 3.1mb up according to if I manage to hit their cap in the evening (OnLive uses about 2.5gb per 30mins) then I get throttled down to 7.5mb which to

    • 30mb/3mb connection with Virgin. £27 a month with no need for a phone line or paying any form of "line rental" to BT, infact I dont even have a phone line in the building.

      Unfortunately, to my knowledge they still don't offer static IPv4 addresses or small IPv4 subnets. (Yes, I know they do "mostly static" addresses, but having an address that *might* change without notice really isn't good enough). Also, I believe they have gone on record stating that they have no intention of rolling out IPv6 any time soon. So for now I'll stick with my dual-stacked connection over ADSL.

    • My own experience with Virgin was not so rosy. Yes, I got the advertised speed - *sometimes*. Other times, the network was so congested that packet loss was about 10% and the connection was essentially unusable. By contrast the ADSL connections I've used (Sky and Be) had a slower peak speed but were much more consistent, and interactive performance (such as web browsing) was much better.

      Maybe they've improved, or it varies with area, but it really put me off using them again.

  • I'm a stone's throw from a large exchange in a (UK) city centre with 24mb DSL.

    I get thereabouts that speed with some speedtest sites and when downloading Ubuntu. And that's about it. I have hit ~16mb/s from Steam and iPlayer but only occasionally. By far the usual speed is something below 8mb/s, that's all the server will give me.

    Sure I can download many things at once, but there's nothing causing me to actually do that in practice. Having the connection is nice and everything but in practical terms there'

  • It it's just half of London I don't think that really count.
  • With speeds this fast, now Grandma can easily download all the user-friendly bits to make this the Year of the Linux Desktop!

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor