O2 UK to trial fibre broadband commercially this year

O2 UK, part of the Telefonica group, has confirmed that it plans to launch commercial trials of fibre-based fixed broadband services later this year.

Writing on the O2 UK company blog, Felix Geyr, Managing Director of O2 Home and Broadband, stated: “While I can’t give too many details of the service at this stage we want to ensure that we will provide the right customer experience in place before we go live. As a result we are currently looking at the infrastructure and where in the UK we run the trial.”

Fine tuning of the new packages, including pricing, is currently being decided, according to Mr Geyr, who states that the announcement comes on the back of customer requests for information on when O2 will be offering fibre broadband services.

The company plans to launch a pre-registration programme nearer the launch, prioritising existing customers first, and will give further updates on progress “soon”.

O2 UK currently provides ADSL broadband services on an unbundled basis over incumbent BT’s fixed network, and the two companies signed an agreement in February of last year for the consolidation of O2 UK’s fixed and mobile networks whereby BT Wholesale will use one platform for both services – its 21st Century Network (21CN).

The new fibre broadband services which O2 UK is trialling later this year will likely make use of the fibre network BT is installing across the UK, with the incumbent recently announcing that it plans to increase the rate at which it rolls out its superfast fibre-based broadband network across the country.

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