The way that people access the internet has changed dramatically in recent years. Ever since narrowband or ‘dial-up’ was first introduced to the UK, technology has evolved to provide faster and more reliable access to the internet.
Today, 99% of homes and businesses in the UK have access to ‘first generation’ copper broadband from BT which delivers speeds of up to 8Mbps. This form of internet access is predominantly delivered over copper wires. Now, we are rolling out ‘next generation broadband’ to UK homes and businesses.
Next generation broadband is the term used to describe broadband delivered over both advanced copper wires and fibre-optic cables. At BT, we’re also increasing our Ethernet availability, to ensure our customers have the most choice and flexibility available in today’s marketplace.
At BT, we’re deploying advanced copper ‘ADSL2+’ technology providing UK homes and businesses with broadband speeds up to 20Mbps.
BT is investing £2.5bn to roll-out fibre broadband to around two-thirds of homes and businesses in the UK. This will be completed during Spring 2014.
Fibre broadband is the term we use to describe broadband delivered over fibre-optic cables. It can be delivered in two ways: fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP). And we’re using a combination of FTTC and FTTP as part of BT’s ‘Big Build’
FTTC uses fibre-optic cables throughout the network right up to the street cabinet. It then uses copper wires to connect the cabinet to homes and businesses. FTTC provides wholesale download speeds up to 80Mbps and upload speeds up to 20Mbps.
FTTP means fibre-optic cables run right to the door of each house or business. It provides wholesale download speeds up to 330Mbps and upload speeds up to 30Mbps. At BT, we use FTTP to connect apartment buildings and office blocks across the UK.
As of Spring 2013, anyone in an FTTC-enabled area will be able to upgrade to FTTP “on demand”. This will be a particularly attractive solution for small and medium sized businesses**.
These faster speeds enable people to enjoy benefits such as downloading a music track in about two seconds or a feature length HD movie in less than 10 minutes.
BT includes Ethernet under the heading of next generation broadband because it provides fast, secure and high capacity networks for businesses. It offers businesses flexible speeds of 10Mbps to 10Gbps with dedicated or shared service quality.
*Subject to acceptable investment conditions
** Openreach plans to commercially launch FTTP on demand during Spring 2013 and will levy an installation charge for this service. 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.