To BT Infinity and beyond

BT has launched its Fibre to the Cabinet / Premise (FTTx) offering known as 40Mb BT Infinity Broadband. The FTTC offering uses a variant of VDSL to the home over normal copper.

The service is being rolled out across the UK and BT hopes to have 40% population coverage by 2012. This will of course exclude most rural users as it will only work in densely populated urban areas where the distance between the cabinet and the home is short (VDSL/2/2+ only works up to about 100m). Around 4m homes are expected to be within coverage on the launch.

BT Infinity Option 1 costs £19.99 a month with a £50 set-up fee. The user gets 40Mb/s downstream, 2Mb/s upstream and a 20GB data usage allowance.

BT Infinity Option 2 costs £24.99 a month with no set-up fee. The user gets 40Mb/s downstream, 10Mb/s upstream and unlimited data usage. Unlimited in this case means 'fair use' which gives BT the option of cutting users off or charging them for bandwidth.

Both come with an engineer install and a BT Home Hub.

More information is available from BT's Product Pages which have an address checker which shows what speed Broadband is available to the customer - if it's below 40Mb/s then it's an ADSL or ADSL2+ package.

Now could be interesting times as neither BSkyB nor Carphone Warehouse (TalkTalk) have announced their fibre plans, but both are allegedly planning fibre roll-outs to compete with BT (they should co-operate and build a single network to compete with BT, but that's another story) with Sky already testing new IPTV set-top boxes.

BT have definitely got a lead and a huge existing network and existing infrastructure on which to build a FTTx network, will BSkyB, CPW be able to roll-out fast enough to compete?

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