Sure promises “100Mbits” by end of year in Guernsey

So I was reading through some of the new sections on Sure’s website today, since the sale of Sure to Batelco from Cable and Wireless.

I noticed that in their news section, there was an interview from Sure’s CEO Eddie Saints, and in one part he said that:

[we] aim of making Superfast Broadband accessible to all Bailiwick properties at speeds up to 100Mb/s by the end of this year at greater coverage and lower pricing compared with our competing jurisdictions.

So this looks like some sort of confirmation (or at least plans ) of 100Mbps internet by the end of 2013.

Now I am not certain if Sure will be rolling out a FTTH network like in Jersey, or if they will simply continue to roll out their VDSL2 network over copper as they have been doing currently.

Copper cable, using VDSL2, is not particularly future proof for the next 20 years  and beyond. Whereas JT have already taken the plunge and created an island wide FTTH network which will be able to cope with speeds in excess of 1Gbps, Guernsey’s VDSL2 and copper network is simply incapable of speeds this fast. In fact, the current technical maximum (assuming you are next to the street cabinet) is about 200Mbps for VDSL2. These speeds drop significantly the further you are from a street cabinet. Additionally, the connection will be more susceptible to noise and interference on a copper cable, compared to a fibre optic cable.

Whilst I applaud Sure’s continued work in delivering high speed internet to Guernsey (and who can forget the dark days of 1Mbps ADSL), I think that if Sure isn’t planning to go down the FTTH route then they are being a bit short sighted. In the distant future when internet bandwidth is abundant and Jersey are offering 10Gbps fibre to every home, with almost just a flick of the switch required, Sure will look back and wish they had deployed fibre to every home rather than just the street cabinet.

[Of course, deploying FTTC does mean that the fibre connection is closer to homes, and they could use this in the future to deploy FTTH from the cabinet connections, but arguably the most difficult bit is the last xx metres into peoples individual properties]