UK telecoms incumbent BT is to slash the wholesale price of its superfast broadband service, although broadband operators interested in its forthcoming on-demand offer may face substantial set-up fees.
From June 2013, the rental price of BT’s 330Mbps fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) service will fall to just £38 ($61) a month, from £60 currently.
BT (London, UK) says those rates will also apply to the FTTP on-demand (FoD) service it plans to launch in the first half of 2013.
The FoD service will allow broadband operators to extend fibre into buildings in areas where BT’s network only runs to local street cabinets.
According to BT this means that “FTTP speeds will be available across the whole of BT’s fibre footprint for the first time and not just from those exchanges that currently offer FTTP”.
FoD is primarily aimed at small- and medium-sized enterprises that want faster connections than the 80Mbps available through fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) services.
However, given the extra work involved, BT intends to charge providers a distance-based construction charge for the FoD service.
The price of serving a premise about 500 meters away from BT’s fibre network – the average distance – will be approximately £1,000 on top of an installation fee of £500.
More details of price bands for distances will be provided before BT launches the service.
BT says providers will have to decide whether to pass these charges on to customers.
“It is now time for us to focus further on FTTP and I am pleased to say that we are making it more affordable than ever,” said Mike Galvin, the managing director of next-generation access for BT’s Openreach division. “I am sure that small will welcome this major price cut and I am also sure that our fibre on demand plans will be of great interest.”