BT trials ‘fibre-to-the-basement’ in City of London

24 Dec 2014

BT has announced a trial of what it calls ‘fibre-to-the-basement’ broadband network architecture in the City of London to boost internet speeds for hard-to-reach businesses and homes, reports Techweekeurope. The trial will see around 50 small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) based at 65 London Wall and 225 homes in the Middlesex Street Estate offered access to download speeds of up to 80Mbps ‘from more than 130 different service providers’. In certain areas there is a lack of physical space for BT to install street fibre cabinets, and the fibre-to-the-basement trial addresses this situation by extending the fibre directly into the building, although BT is differentiating its latest trial local access method from fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) networks. The City of London Corporation has previously said that a lack of affordable superfast broadband in the Square Mile is harming businesses and making the capital’s financial centre less attractive to global companies. Joe Garner, CEO of BT’s Openreach division, stated: ‘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 are optimistic that this new solution will prove that fibre broadband can be installed into building basements quickly, smoothly and economically.’

United Kingdom, BT Consumer, BT Group (incl. Openreach), Openreach