BT Openreach to offer 80 Mbps FTTC download speeds

BT Openreach (NYSE: BT), the operator of the UK telco's wireline network, is going to boost the download speed of its Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) network service.

Set to debut in April, the new service will increase download speed from 40 to 80 Mbps, with upload speeds increasing from 10 to 20 Mbps.

"The faster speeds will be available in a month's time and so it is now up to broadband providers to decide how and when they offer these faster speeds to their customers," Mike Galvin, Openreach's managing director of network investment. "The platform is there and we are confident there will be demand for these enhanced services."

As a wholesale service, BT Retail and other competitive service providers, including Talk Talk, can purchase the service to sell to their respective customers. Talk Talk confirmed in a ZDNet UK article that it has begun accepting pre-registrations from customers interested in the higher speed product, with plans to make the 80 Mbps-capable connections available in April.

Any Talk Talk customer who wants the 80 Mbps service will have to only pay an extra £5 ($7.84) per month, on top of the £10 ($15.65) monthly fee they pay to get the fiber-based service.

What's not clear about the new speeds is when they will be made available to BT Retail customers. Other than saying that they will announce their plans "shortly," a BT Retail spokesman did not provide any other details.

The increased speed is coupled with the service provider's aggressive build out plans. Last October, BT said that it would complete its FTTC network roll out to about two-thirds of the UK's premises by 2014, a year ahead of its original build-out schedule.

For more:
- see the release
- ZDnet has this article

Special report: Wireline in the fourth quarter 2011

Related articles:
BT conducts on-demand FTTP trial in Cornwall
BT to extend fiber-based broadband to Scotland and Cornwall
BT launches 100 Mbps FTTH offering to UK customers
BT's fiscal Q2 2011 revenue gets boost from broadband, global services
BT on track to complete FTTC network build by 2014

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