BT Openreach has announced plans to slash the wholesale rental price of its 330Mbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband service by 37 percent.
From June 2013, BT will charge broadband providers £38 a month to piggyback on its "ultra-fast" fibre network into people's homes and offices, rather than £60 per month. The lower price will also apply to the new FTTP on Demand (FoD) service that Openreach will launch in Spring 2013.
The UK was recently criticised for having the lowest penetration of FTTP in Europe, with only 0.05% of households connected. BT hopes that the lower wholesale price will encourage greater adoption of FTTP.
"Our fibre plans are going very well. Our deployment is one of the fastest in the world and our services are proving very popular with the public," said Mike Galvin, Managing Director NGA at Openreach.
"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. I am sure that small businesses will welcome this major price cut and I am also sure that our fibre on demand plans will be of great interest."
When it launches next year, the FoD service will enable communications providers to pay BT Openreach to lay a "last mile" fibre connection in areas where there is demand for high-speed services and Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) is already available.
This means that consumers and businesses who wish to take advantage of the faster service can get downstream speeds of 330Mbps and upstream speeds of 30Mbps, even if FTTP has not yet been rolled out in their area.
Communications providers will be charged a distance-based construction charge for FoD. These charges are currently being finalised but, as a rule of thumb, BT claims that premises that are 500 metres away from the cabinet will incur a charge of around £1,000.
Those that are closer will face a lesser charge and those further away a higher one. Communications providers will also have to pay a standard installation fee of £500, and it will be up to them to decide whether to pass this charge on to their customers.
FoD is expected to be of most interest to small and medium sized enterprises, according to BT.