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Competition in fibre

17 · FEB ·2014

Last week I moved into a new flat in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park village in Stratford. By working within the industry for over 4 years I knew a pain and delay for installation awaited me. To my surprise I had a pleasant experience with my connectivity, compared to others who have recently moved into new build properties, such my MD, Piers Daniell, who moved into his flat to find a standard BT socket. I moved into a three bedroom property with fibre already installed, activated and ready to use. It also has the option to upgrade to 100Mb/s and 1Gb/s, as and when I require it. Hyperoptic have done a great job in providing access to every flat in the newly built Olympic village (run by getlivinglondon). I didn’t have to wait for an engineer to arrive, or spend any time on the phone signing up. The process was a simple online form to complete; my service was up and running for when I moved in. A nice surprise was, I could receive a 20Mb/s download speed and around 1Mb/s up, but I noticed, the flat also had a BT Openreach router installed for Fibre to the Home (FTTH) from BT as an alternative. Based on other individual experiences, Piers’ especially, it isn’t the norm for new build properties as one would expect. I found it strange that BT and Hyperoptic have both deployed FTTP into all flats so efficiently, then I realised it must be in relation to direct competition. It is great that I have been given two different options for high speed next generation connectivity, when other new builds are left having to use aged copper technologies, but it must be because of the competition that both Hyperoptic and BT have deployed their cutting-edge service. I understand that BT rolled it out first, in relation to the Olympic bid but it shows that BT can deploy FTTH technology if they want to. The situation seems to reflect Piers’ claim that BT are protecting where they can, their monopoly and only choose to involve themselves in true fibre projects where it is demanded by the developer. I hope I am wrong but it would be great to see some data on how many new builds that BT are enabling at the moment are benefiting from FTTP rather than DSL. *Please note this article has been reviewed on 20/02/2014 in relation to feedback from BT Wholesale, rather than BT Openreach, that they were actually first to deploy FTTP to this development.

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Posted by Sanita Karra