BT broadband customers who subscribe to Infinity 2 will see their fibre download speeds nearly double from today. Downstream speeds will be improved form 38Mbps to ‘up to’ 76Mbps and upstream speeds of ‘up to’ 19Mbps will be available. Access to a faster broadband network via FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) technology has been promised for some time by BT to its Infinity customers.
Infinity 1 customers should also see their broadband download speeds improve to ‘up to’ 38Mbps and upload speeds that could reach 9.5Mbps.
Here’s the catch, though: Existing customers already signed up to Infinity will be required to agree a new contract – at no extra cost – with BT before being able to access the new speeds.
The process for this is that a customer would first need to order a “regrade” from BT before “extending” their contract by another 12 or 18 months. The new term starts when BT upgrade their service.
Of course, these theoretical maximum speeds could greatly vary for customers depending on how far away their homes are from the street side cabinets installed by BT’s Openreach engineers that tie copper phone lines to BT’s fibre optic tech.
BT is offering a mixed broadband network, with most of it being FTTC. The more desirable FTTP technology is much harder and more time-consuming to roll out. BT recently talked about “FTTP on demand”, that will eventually allow cabinets to carry faster broadband speeds of “up to” 300Mbps – at a hefty cost. Consequently, BT isn’t marketing that service to the consumer market, and is instead targeting businesses.
Roughly seven million premises in the UK can currently upgrade to BT’s Infinity products. BT is hoping to “pass” 10 million homes and businesses this year as part of its £2.5bn investment in fibre upgrades for two-thirds of the country.
BT is also bidding for government funds from the £680m BDUK pot for rural and urban areas. BT is the only company to have secured such an investment to date.
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