UK telecoms operator BT has announced the successful trial of a new fibre broadband deployment that could be used to deliver high-speed broadband to tightly packed U.K. cities.
BT’s new ‘fibre to the basement’ system directly integrates fibre broadband kit into the basement of a building, rather than requiring access to street furniture.
The ‘fibre to the basement’ system will enable roll out of super-fast broadband to locations where it is not possible to install a new street cabinet due to a lack of space, planning restrictions, or prohibitive deployment costs.
BT has used this method to boost broadband services to 225 homes in the Middlesex Street Estate and around 50 SMEs based at 65 London Wall bringing in speeds of 80Mbps, compared with the current 20Mbps.
“We’re constantly exploring new ways to deliver fibre broadband to residential customers into city-centres, so we are excited to announce the launch of this trial,” said Joe Garner, CEO, Openreach.
“City-centre locations present unique challenges when it comes to upgrading consumer broadband. For example, there is less room for us to install a fibre cabinet on the pavement, and it is often harder to get permission to close roads to do the work. We also need to secure permission from multiple landlords to run new cables across their land and properties.
“That’s why we are being innovative with new technology solutions like this one. We optimistic that this new solution will prove that fibre broadband can be installed into building basements quickly, smoothly and economically. It could also have the added benefit of being less disruptive for our customers and the general public.”
Graham Bell, CIO of the City of London Corporation, said: “All businesses are keener than ever to be well-connected and this fibre to the basement pilot is a welcome step forwards, especially for smaller SMBs, who are critical to London’s commercial dynamism.
“We hope the trials will lead to further expansion of fibre broadband across the Square Mile for residents and SMBs, complementing the Ethernet infrastructure already available to larger firms.”