Did Surrey village hit fibre to the home jackpot?
Capel, a village with nearly 2,000 homes, may become one of the first in Surrey to receive fibre to the home (FTTP) on a large scale.
In a feedback report on a meeting with BT’s superfast broadband programme director, Johnny McQuoid, posted on the Fast Capel Broadband blog site, high speed broadband campaigner Simon Lea said about 1,700 (88%) out of 1,920 Capel exchange lines should be able to get a BT Infinity broadband service starting in 1Q2012.
Infinity is mainly a fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) product that delivers up to 40Mbps download and 10Mbps upload speeds, depending on distance from the exchange, number of simultaneous users, type of traffic, condition of wires between the cabinet and premises, and other factors.
“The planned split between FTTP and FTTC is 70/30. This implies that around 1,200 properties served by the Capel exchange will have an FTTP solution,” Lea said.
However, 220 homes were unlikely to get BT’s Infinity service at all, he said.
According to Lea, the technology that will be installed will support 80Mbps headline download speed)by the end of 2012. This is double the 40Mbps which is the currently advertised Infinity headline download speed.
However, this raises questions about whether BT will be rolling out fibre in the quantities suggested. This is because 80Mbps is the headline speed BT said it expects to get from its FTTC technology next year, and elsewhere BT usually quotes FTTP rates of 100Mbps.
Lea stands by his report, adding he’s delighted that Capel was one of the winning villages of BT’s “Race to Infinity” competition.
BT ‘s Openreach subsidiary ran the competition late last year to drum up and identify high speed broadband demand from villages with more than 1,000 homes.
A BT spokesman confirmed that Capel will be upgraded next year. “Whilst we don’t have a precise breakdown at present, it is likely that a high percentage of homes will get FTTP. This is due to the topography of the local area,” he said.
Lea said Capel has two fairly dense clusters of properties close by the exchange and two smaller outlying clusters. “I can’t explain why so many will get FTTP – but I’m not complaining,” he said.
The BT spokesman said all communications providers could have nominated exchanges they wanted upgraded under Openreach’s Race to Infinity scheme. “Only BT Retail took them up,” he said.
And here’s why: whether BT likes it or not, many communications providers do not trust the so-called Chinese walls that are meant to separate Openreach from the rest of BT. Why would they tip their hand to a competitor?