BT’s Openreach division is installing a fibre network, at Ebbsfleet in Kent, which will provide broadband speeds of 100Mbit/s, 20 times faster than the current average UK household connection.
This will give the Ebbsfleet development of 10,000 new homes the UK’s fastest ever residential network, rivalling speeds available across South Korea, which leads the world in broadband provision.
The project will test the deployment of super-fast broadband at a time when the UK Government, communications regulator Ofcom and telecoms industry, are deciding how best to upgrade the UK’s broadband network.
BT will start installing the fibre network at Ebbsfleet in August, providing a much faster alternative to traditional copper phone lines. The site is owned by Land Securities.
BT will offer the lines on a wholesale basis to BT Retail, ISPs and media companies such as BSkyB. These companies will then be able to provide services such as HDTV, which are heavy on bandwith usage.
Openreach is proposing to charge from £100 a year for a basic line to £530 a year for the fastest, 100Mbit/s per second connections, and will meet with potential customers to discuss the pricing.
The company plans to start installing fibre networks at all new major residential developments in the UK from this year.