High-speed internet is essential to the future of British economy; the easy availability of internet makes UK one of the most attractive locations for foreign direct investment. This is especially true for our services sector which accounts for 77.7% of the total economy. The competitiveness of the British economic infrastructure will enhance as BT, on the tenth anniversary of bringing the Wi-Fi to British streets, announced the launch of ‘FTTP on demand’ by the year 2013. But what does FTTP mean for the consumer, and how is it different from current broadband?
Currently most UK households receive internet via the street cabinet. FTTC – Fibre To The Cabinet, delivers internet in fibre optic cables up to the cabinet. From there on a cable distributes internet to households and/or businesses. That’s what you are probably using. This can deliver maximum download speeds of up to 80 Mbps; but most of us rarely go for that package!
FTTP – Fibre To The Premises, delivers internet in the fibre optic right to the office or apartment building. It’s not available out there yet but BT recently announced pilot projects across the UK. FTTP on demand will allow individual houses to get FTTP on a one-off charge or a higher monthly fee. This will provide users with download speeds of up to 110 Mbps and for small and medium enterprises the speed can go up to 330 Mbps.
For the next couple of years, BT Openreach division plans to focus FTTP internet towards businesses as Mike Galvin declared “While we believe FTTC will be our mass market consumer product for some time yet, FTTP may be of interest to small and medium-sized businesses”.
Just give it some time and streaming HD movies off NetFlix may just be smoother than playing a Blu-Ray at home. You love to play shooting games and racing games online with your friends? Well, they are just going to get better!
For medium-sized businesses that were forced to sign up for multiple packages/cabling won’t have to do so in the future as 330 Mbps will be sufficient.
Eventually, this lightning-fast broadband will be made available in rural areas as well, thanks to BT receiving a big chunk of Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) fund from the government. By 2014, BT aims to deliver FTTP to 66% of the British population.
At this time, much is speculation as the prices of the packages have not yet been declared. The substance behind all the hype will be fully realized once the prices are declared, and how consumers react. Regardless, the fate of FTTP is bright – as we move in to an era of cloud computing and virtualized data centres it seems lightning fast internet will provide the grid for a new generation of internet in the UK without which the corporate world would fall like a house of cards.
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