BT Openreach takes home networking challenge
Being a staunch advocate of a hybrid copper/fiber FTTN-based access network, BT’s Openreach division raised eyebrows earlier this year when it announced the launch of a GPON-based FTTP trial this summer in Ebbsfleet Valley in Kent, one of many new housing developments funded by the UK government.
Openreach, through its GPON broker Huawei, says it will be able to deliver 100Mbps via the pilot open access FTTH network. Offered as a wholesale offering to its communication provider (CP) customers, Openreach’s open access FTTH network will be able to support any mix of high-bandwidth services, including data, video and music.
Simon Fisher, director of fiber network strategy for BT Openreach, remains candid about the FTTH opportunity.
BT Openreach’s Greenfield FTTH architecture “At Openreach we’re in the midst of a pilot GPON technology, or simply another PON trial from my point of view, having been in the space embarrassingly now for 20 years,” he said during the Connecting the Final Meters: In-building Cabling, CPE and Other Critical Enablers panel at the recent FTTH Council Europe tradeshow in Paris, France.
Fisher should know. Although the PON trial is a recent development, BT overall has a number of last-mile, next-gen access pursuits. Along with PON, Openreach’s fiber access drive includes two other options:
• Point-to-point fiber targeted at commercial businesses with high bandwidth requirements; and
• Fiber to the cabinet which extends fiber to support its existing copper-based network for ADSL2+ services to consumers and wholesale service provider customers.
But all the speed and capabilities offered through the FTTH network will be meaningless if the distribution network and customer’s home connection is not constructed correctly.