BT has suspended its Fibre on Demand service as it figures out how to offer it alongside its regular broadband products.
Fibre on Demand, or FoD, is a business-only service that let small firms pay a one-off sum to have a FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) line installed if the local exchange offered FTTP and FoD.
As well as seeing top speeds jumping from the 80Mbps theoretically possible via BT’s FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) products, FTTP lines aren’t affected by the FTTC distance difference. BT has already proved, with a demonstration of 10Gbps speeds in Cornwall, that its FTTP lines are future proof.
Customers would pay a flat fee plus an extra charge depending on the length of fibre optic cable required to upgrade. According to BT average installation prices would range between £1,100-£2,500, following a price hike. The monthly costs for such a service weren’t cheap either – at least in the experience of one Recombu reader.
If you could afford it and you wanted to future-proof your business, you could get FoD from a number of ISPs – including BT, Zen and AAISP – provided you were connected to one of the 300+ exchanges that offered it.
As BT continues to test out G.fast equipment, sales of Fibre on Demand have been halted – but BT says it hopes to launch the service again in the future.
A BT spokesperson said: “BT Wholesale has decided to suspend new orders for FoD whilst existing ones are processed by Openreach. This is expected to be a temporary measure.
“FoD is a relatively new product that is still in early market deployment. We expect it to join our mainstream products in due course as it has an important role to play.”
BT has always said that it didn’t expect FoD would be a mainstream product anytime soon, questioning market demand for 330Mbps services. Frustratingly, there’s no telling when BT might relaunch FoD.
It’s also not clear when FoD might be offered to (deep pocketed) home customers as well as businesses and if prices drop.
With G.fast technology promising download speeds of around 700Mbps (if the trials are anything to go by) BT may continue to push FTTC-related products in lieu of a future full-scale rollout of FTTP broadband.
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