Wealthy small businesses can now pony up for their own BT fibre broadband line from 163 more telephone exchanges.
BT Openreach has confirmed FoD (Fibre on Demand) upgrades in Belfast, Birmingham, West Yorkshire, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Londonderry, Edinburgh, Westminster, Manchester, Newcastle, Newport, Oxford, Perth, Portsmouth, Salford, York and Cornwall.
These exchanges will be able to support ultra-fast broadband running at 330Mbps (with a 30Mbps upload speed) if you can afford the expected connection charges of around £1,500 and monthly rental of £99+VAT.
Broadband industry news site ISPreview.co.uk received confirmation of the completed upgrades, which should make FoD available to order for 4.7 million premises around the UK.
The upgrades were carried out between December 2013 and March 2014, bringing FoD to a total of 303 exchanges, many in cities targeted by the government’s Super Connected Cities Voucher funding for businesses.
Although few business ISPs have offered FoD since its low-key launch last year, it may prove attractive to businesses who want more than the typical 76Mbps FTTC can offer but lower ongoing costs than a full leased line.
However, with a base connection cost of £750, plus £3.50 per metre from the nearest fibre node to your premises, BT estimates typical connection fees between £1,100 and £2,500. That could be pushing the limit of what’s available under the Super-Connected Voucher scheme.
On top of that, BT isn’t using FoD as a cunning way to expand its fibre network on the back of early adopters – every premises has to be connected all the way from the nearest node.
FoD also can’t be used to fibre-up collected addresses like small office blocks or flats, and there’s no option for symmetrical speeds, although fibre should be able to deliver it comfortably. In fact, a top speed of 330Mbps in any direction is chugging along in the slow lane for pure fibre.