Fujitsu Conducting FTTH Trials in the UK

  • FTTH
LONDON - Openreach, BT's retail arm, and Fujitsu UK say they have made progress in trials of Openreach’s duct- and pole-sharing products for fiber to the home. The companies hope this will help extend superfast broadband speeds to rural consumers and businesses outside the commercial footprint of network providers.

Fujitsu UK, the participant that is furthest advanced in Openreach’s trial of duct and pole sharing, last week successfully connected its first end users via fiber to the home.

Along with positive feedback from Fujitsu UK and other companies participating in the trials, this success has given Openreach the confidence to proceed with the commercial launch of its new physical infrastructure access products later this month. Following commercial launch, all U.K. communications providers will be able to order these products from Openreach on an open, wholesale basis.

Prices Are Lower Than Expected
The commercial launch follows the publication of revised prices for pole and duct access in early October. The new prices – which were revised following feedback from trialists and lessons learned from the trials - are significantly lower than the draft prices issued before Openreach had real-world information about the costs of providing such access. They are estimated to be up to 38 percent below the European average for such access in rural areas. Openreach has also broken down the various products into their component parts, allowing trialists to pick which elements they wish to purchase and those they want to deliver themselves.

Openreach chief executive Liv Garfield says, “We’ve pulled out all the stops to make sure our products fit the needs of our customers, so I have been delighted by the positive feedback we’ve had from Fujitsu UK and others. Pole and duct access will enable CPs to deliver superfast broadband speeds in areas outside the existing planned commercial footprint, so we felt it was important to launch the products as soon as possible.”

Andy Stevenson, CEO of Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Limited, adds, “Fujitsu UK have made strong progress to date using Openreach’s poles and ducts and so we welcome the imminent commercial launch of their products. I’m delighted to announce that the first of our trialists are now live on our trial network, and we’re proud to be the first communications provider in the UK to offer service through this route to market. Whilst there are still some points of detail we’re working through ahead of commercial launch, we’ve been reassured by Openreach’s collaborative approach towards pricing and product development, which gives us the confidence to move forward.”

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