Openreach promises 300Mbps downstream speeds

BT Openreach has plans to open up its Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) to rivals and will offer downstream speeds of 300Mbps by spring next year.

Currently the service can manage 110Mbps downstream speeds when it is going downhill and the wind is behind it. BT is offering the service from Ashford in Middlesex, Bradwell Abbey in Milton Keynes, Highams Park in North London, Chester South, St Austell and York from the end of October.

More locations will be added and speeds will rise, however, with a 1Gbps service currently on trial in Kesgrave, Suffolk.

Communications minister Ed Vaizey said in an announcement that high-speed broadband is essential for economic growth, which is why the UK needs to have the best superfast broadband in Europe by 2015.

Vaizey said that improving the UK’s broadband infrastructure will help high-tech, digital industries grow.

BT is looking for public funds to expand its fibre reach beyond the two-thirds it has pledged to cover.

Olivia Garfield, CEO of Openreach said that other service providers will be able to rent Openreach’s FTTP lines and offer their own services. However other providers are muttering that BT is offering FTTP services for too much dosh.

Virgin and TalkTalk sent a letter to the government complaining about BT’s pricing. BT responded by saying it was offering prices below the European average. Which is strangely what it used to say about the early digital services which were seen by telcos the world over as a way of screwing money out of punters.

For the new FTTP services at 100Mbps downstream speeds and 30Mbps upstream speeds, BT is charging providers £436.32 a year for those with an existing wholesale line rental or metallic path facility service. If you want the same services without WLR or MPF deals will have to pay £537 a year.