The long-awaited ‘copper switchover’ may be just that little bit closer, after BT Openreach have suggested that an expansion of the rollout of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) should increased throughout the UK.
BT Openreach are the access network division of BT and have indicated that they would support such a programme if it meant that the communications industry work together with support from both the government and the industry regulator OFCOM.
If a wider FTTP rollout was to actually happen, this would mean the retirement of the UK’s old copper-based telephone cable infrastructure. The government has indicated in the past that they want to bring fibre networks to millions more domestic and commercial properties in the UK sooner rather than later, including allocating £400 million in last year’s Autumn Statement to be invested in the deployment of full fibre networks.
UK Connection speeds are slowly improving, with the average UK connection speed now at 36.2Mbps (up from 28.9Mbps last year), and upload speeds hitting 4.3Mbps (up from 3.7Mbps). However, there are at least two problems with these figures.
Firstly, there is still a growing disparity between urban and rural areas. Ofcom’s figures show rural areas receive an average download speed of 12.2Mbps, compared to 40Mbps in urban areas. Whilst the government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme has made progress in this area, not all of its connections are full FTTP ones, and it remains to be seen whether this will change.
Secondly, the UK has a way to go before it receives connection speeds equivalent to other countries. South Korea is regarded as a country with one of the fastest average broadband connection speeds in the world, and receive on connection speeds that are on average double those of the UK. In addition, a significant number of South Koreans regularly receive connection speeds of over 120Mbps.
It remains to be seen whether anything will happen from BT Openreach’s call for greater industry, regulator, and government cooperation, but it’s obvious the UK has work to do, both to lessen the disparity between urban and rural areas, and also to catch up with other countries around the world.
FTTP Cables from Webro
Our FTTP cables are used in many of the UK’s largest fibre-optic projects, including many rural broadband installations. Webro FTTP cables are available in both singlemode and multimode varieties up to 912 fibres, with CLT, MLT and tight buffered constructions available. We also have a range of cables suitable for the ‘last-drop’ part of FTTH installations, including, MDIC, DAC, DDAC, and ‘dual-drop’ cables. We’re also KeyFibre distibutors, with a range of enclosures, connectors, patch cords, and tools to make FTTH installation easier, quicker, and cheaper.