Quick – move to Martlesham Heath, Suffolk. 1,500 businesses and residents in three UK locations, Suffolk, Milton Keynes and Docklands are to take part in a one year trial of fibre optic broadband connections, running to September 2005.
The properties will be linked directly to BT exchanges by glass fibre, upgrading connections to an end-to-end internet protocol network – something that’s go to come to the entire country sooner or later.
Paul Reynolds, BT wholesale chief executive has stated that BT will not go out and replace all of the copper wires in the country if the trial is a success: only new building developments will have fibre installed. “At this stage we don’t envisage a widespread deployment of fibre to the premises or the cabinet in the near or medium term,” i.e. it would be hideously expensive. “While we believe the use of fibre can help deliver better operating costs in terms of maintenance, we need to balance this against the cost of installation and systems developments. These trials will help to shape our thinking and help us make strategic investment decisions.”
BT have also announced a five year plan to replace the old switched network to properly carry voice and data services, with migrations beginning in 2006.