BT said that by using a mix of fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) and G.fast technologies, it is on track to reach 500,000 homes and businesses with its “ultrafast” broadband services by April 2017.
Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, told investors during its third quarter call that BT is making progress with both FTTP and G.fast deployments to reach its expansion goals.
On the FTTP side, BT Openreach is honing its FTTP installation and customer acquisition processes.
“We are attaching more customers selling more services on our existing FTTP footprint than ever before, and we're working very hard to hone the customer experience of provisioning on that FTTP platform,” Selley said during the third quarter call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. “We're very focused on improving every aspect of our FTTP delivery customer experience and costs.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, a key focus of BT’s FTTP roll out is on how to reduce installation costs.
“We spent a lot of time this year honing our techniques for delivering FTTP and the challenge for Openreach is to show that we can hit lower costs points then have historically been thought possible,” Selley said. “The more we can do that, the more we can consider adjusting the mix [to] 10 million of G.fast and 2 million of FTTP.”
The provider is seeing great interest from customers and favorable technical results from its G.fast technology pilot deployment.
BT has been conducting G.fast trials with Nokia's Alcatel-Lucent subsidiary, Adtran, as well as Huawei.
During its trials, BT found it can deliver about 330 Mbps to a home within 300 meters of a remote terminal (RT) cabinet.
“[Among] the first pilot customers the indications are that the performance of the product over the new equipment is pretty much spot on what we had predicted from the labs in the earlier few trials and I am very pleased with that,” Selley said. “I'm very pleased with where we stand right now on G.fast.”
Broadband growth continues
Overall, BT saw growth in retail and Openreach broadband net additions during the quarter.
The service provider reported 83,000 broadband net additions and 260,000 retail broadband net additions.
Openreach fiber broadband net connections were at 498,000, including 48% from external service providers.
“Our broadband additions were healthy,” said Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT. “Importantly, 51% of our retail broadband bases are now taking a fiber service. This is a better product with an improved experience for the customer.”