BT Rules Out Fibre Optic Roll Out

The news from DigiWorld 2006 is that BT consider ADSL2+ to meet ‘foreseeable needs’. Unlike its counterparts in the US and Japan, BT has no plans to deploy FTTH (Fibre To The Home) on a nationwide basis in the UK.

One of the things I’ve been blogging about on a regular basis is when will the UK get a really fast broadband service. I was hoping that really fast broadband would arrive as part of BTs 21CN technology. That doesn’t seem the case now.

I’ve heard people before saying that FTTH in the UK was unlikely due to the costs involved, but surely this means the UK will lag further behind other countries. This is despite delegates at DigiWorld 2006 saying that the cost of rolling out FTTH will continue to decrease, making the business case more attractive.

FTTH is already being adopted in the US. Take for example, Verizon, who last week announced a Fibre-Optic rollout. BellSouth and SBC Communications are expected to make similar announcements soon.

In France, Iliad plan to invest EUR1 billion in FTTH for Paris over the next six years. There is strongth FTTH growth in Japan too, with 5.4 million subscribers at the end of March 2006.

Although these FTTH rollouts look promising, they seem confined to city areas rather than outlying areas. To rollout FTTH at a nationwide level would be a huge effort. Even so, I feel that is the way forward if we are to achieve truly faster broadband speeds. I think there is only so much you can do with the existing broadband infrastructure.

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