Thinkbroadband has reported that BT Openreach will launch a new product called 'Street Access' on 1st October 2007 next week. Though technically intended for use by businesses, the Ethernet style technology is capable of delivering speeds up to 100Mbps both ways.
It's possible to conceive of the technology being used as either a cheaper alternative to SDSL bandwidth or for delivering the backbone to a fast urban wireless network:
Street Access delivers fixed symmetrical 100Mbit/s transparent Ethernet bandwidth from a BT local exchange to ruggedised terminating units housed in remote street furniture (lamp posts or street cabinets).
Launching on 1st October 2007, Street Access will be ideal for customers who wish to deploy, for example, wireless networks in urban areas to offer the types of value-add services more commonly available at home or in the office. Street Access could also be used for many other applications that are based on Ethernet technology.
Sounding not unlike Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) technology, could this be the first step towards solving the current next-generation broadband debate? Perhaps.
Pricing for a 2.5km 100Mbps link is expected to cost roughly £3,350 per year (£279 per month) and £4,750 to install, making it an attractive alternative to slower SDSL options. Share that bandwidth between just 20 or 30 users and you're soon into the consumer affordable range.
However in this day and age it's not just the bandwidth you have to pay for, there's additional costs and potential technical problems to deal with that can push prices up.
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