BT announces new FTTH pilot

BT is working on another FTTH project in the UK.

By Max Burkhalter
June 29, 2012
While much of North America and Europe has experienced rapid fiber-optic cable expansion, the United Kingdom has faced somewhat slower network installation. However, telecoms are moving quickly to catch up with other developed economies. British Telecom recently announced to hasten its fiber-to-the-home program by developing a pilot project that will bring FTTH infrastructure to eight locations, Computing reported.

The program, which will be run by Openreach, the infrastructure arm of BT, will begin with a phase that brings FTTH connectivity to Bristol South, High Wycombe and St. Agnes in Cornwall, where an existing project will be expanded to fit within the ambitious new program, the news source explained.

The first phase of the project will run from 2012 and into early 2013. The Waverly exchange will be given the FTTH technology in September 2012. Phase two will then kick in, expanding the network to Walford, Basingstoke, Cardiff and Manchester Central. Most of these installations will be completed by May 2013, according to Computing.

Mike Galvin, managing director of networking investments for Openreach, told the news source that while FTTH is clearly extremely popular among consumers, it is also gaining momentum among small businesses.

"While we believe FTTC will be our mass-market consumer product for some time yet, FTTH may be of interest to SMEs and so we want to make it accessible throughout our fiber footprint. This development can potentially help SMEs to compete both at home and abroad as well as maintain and create jobs in the UK," Galvin told Computing.

Fiber-to-the-home connectivity options have the potential to emerge as a dominant networking option in the near future, however, the technology still has a few roadblocks to overcome before it can become a truly mainstream solution. Currently, the cost of installing fiber is too expensive in many regions. As a result, telecoms have to expect aggressive adoption before they will install the solution. However, much of the low-hanging fruit for FTTH subscriptions are already taken.

Because of this, many telecoms are considering investments in fiber-to-the-business solutions, as a significant number small businesses have shown interest in using the technology to help them improve operations and better compete with larger organizations. This is creating an environment in which FTTB is emerging as a revenue source that could lead to more optical network deployment in general.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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