Details of BT’s plans to let customers install their own FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband, instead of paying an engineer up to £100 to do it, have been revealed.
Plans for a self-install option have been on the boil for a while now but it looks like BT could give this go ahead as early as this autumn.
A series of trials, the first due to begin this month, will precede the eventual launch of FTTC Self Install. Further trials will take place in June and September, with a view to the service going live sometime after then. BT hasn’t fixed a time that’s any more specific than ‘Autumn 2013’ just yet, as a number of technical issues will need to be ironed out.
Setting up a new FTTC line is a complicated process; it’s not simply a case of plugging in an sticking a microfilter into the master socket.
Mark Jackson from ISPReview, who first revealed details of the trial, quotes a BT Openreach spokesperson saying: “the use of microfilters may result in reduced speeds when compared to an engineer-based installation,” hence why you’d want a pro to do it if you weren’t sure yourself.
However ironing out these technical difficulties should allow for things like cheaper fibre broadband and more importantly, give consumers the power to do things themselves. BT engineers have had a hard time of it of late, battling with the elements and getting people back on the grid, to the chagrin of those who are waiting for FTTC installs.
With no official line yet from BT about exactly when the trials will start and how many people will be involved, right now all we know is to expect FTTC Self Install sometime after September.