BT is attempting to ramp up awareness of advanced super-fastbroadband technologies such as fibre-based connectivity, its BT Vision TVservice and other home and business-related applications with the launch of itsfirst dedicated Broadband stores.
The stores will work in much the same fashion as Apple’sown-branded shops by showcasing BT products in a more traditional salesenvironment, and are clearly planned to drive take-up of its new services.
Speaking to reporters, BT Retail marketing director MatthewDearden said: “The showcase shows local people what Super-fast Broadband,currently being trialled in their areas, is all about and enables them to seedemonstrations of a range of home and business applications that will enhancetheir lives.”
The first two locations, Muswell Hill in North London andWhitchurch in Wales,are scheduled to open their doors within the month, and BT has not ruled outstores elsewhere in good time.
Both are located in areas slated for trials of BT’s Fibre-To-The-Home(FTTH) technology, which promises vastly increased broadband speeds.
But FTTH is one area where the UK is lagging, according tobusiness comms provider Viatel,
Viatelis working closely with BT on trials of the technology but was not scared tocriticise its partner for concentrating more on Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC),the focus of BT’s massive super-fast broadband investment, which while fast issignificantly slower than FTTH.
Viatelconnectivity and security services product manager Steve Powell said: “As yet[the UK]has no national published planned roll-out intentions for FTTH other than greenfield sites such as Ebbsfleet.”
Discussingfigures that show the UK is well outside the European FTTH Council’s list of‘Top 10 European Fibre Nations’, Powell said: “Unsurprisingly BT appears to beconcentrating on wringing the last drop of performance from the last-milecopper PSTN network, and who can blame them, they already own thisinfrastructure.”