BT’s Ultra-fast broadband plans have finally been approved by telecoms watchdog Ofcom, leaving BT free to start building a blistering new broadband network running at speeds of up to 100Mbps.
Ultra-fast broadband is a pretty broad term – Virgin Media runs a network that tops out at around 50Mbps – but now that Ofcom has given its assent, BT will begin the process of laying down its own fibre optic cable required for the new network. The roll-out will cost around £1.5 Billion over the next three years, but will bring a ton of benefits.
Other than the massive speed boost, the other important difference between Virgin Media’s offering and the new Ultra-Fast BT network is that Ofcom will require BT to allow other companies to use its infrastructure. Ofcom’s rules do allow BT to make a profit from leasing out its lines, but there should be scope for resellers to offer discounts or special packages on top of the basic fibre.
Ofcom’s decision comes soon after the government’s Digital Britain report, in which Lord Carter called “upgrading and modernising” Britain’s digital infrastructure one of the country’s priorities. Ultra-fast broadband as planned by BT should deliver data at up to 20 times faster than the current average connection. If you’re lucky, it’ll double Virgin Media’s best offering of 50Mb too.