Abica UK joins BT in Scottish trials of FTTC broadband

Scottish telecoms company Abica has commenced trials of BT's new superfast next generation Fibre-to-the-Cabinet ( FTTC ) broadband technology via the Halfway Exchange in Glasgow, which serves business intensive areas such as Hillington and Cardonald. The service officially went live at the Halfway exchange on Friday last week.

BT revealed during early November (here) that local businesses would be able to take advantage of the trial for FREE until the end of March 2010, which initially offers download speeds of up to 40Mbps and uploads of up to 2Mbps. Many major UK ISPs are already part of the trials.

David Munro, joint managing director at Abica, said:

"The increase in both download and upload speeds with FTTC is remarkable and the product will at last start to realise the full potential of broadband. It will make a transformational difference to the way business communicates and how people network. It will allow us to create wide area networks which will permit companies with geographically separate divisions to allow all their computers to talk to each other.

At the moment, they have to rely on site-specific local area networks or pay substantial costs upfront for very expensive fibre connections between premises. Now they will be able to use internet protocol virtual private networks at a fraction, perhaps a tenth, of the cost of inter-site fibre connection."

FTTC delivers a fast fibre optic link to the operators street level cabinets, while the remaining connection - between cabinets and homes - is done using VDSL / VDSL2 (similar to current ADSL broadband but faster over short distances) through existing copper cable; FTTC will initially deliver speeds of up to 40Mbps, rising to 60Mbps in the future (uploads could also hit 5-10Mbps). BT hopes to reach 10m UK homes and businesses by 2012.

Interestingly Abica references that it has been appointed to run the first trial in Scotland "of BT's £3 billion roll-out" of faster internet services. The last we heard it was still a £1.5bn rollout, which aims to bring superfast broadband to as many as 10 million homes by 2012.

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