BT has announced plans to allow customers to set up their own broadband connections at home from the end of the year.
The telecoms company has been testing easier-to-install microfilters since April so customers can install their own fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband without the need for an engineer to visit the premises – although engineers would still be required to visit the associated street cabinet.
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This would cut the cost of a BT Openreach installation from around £100 closer to £50, leaving wholesale ISPs the choice of whether to pass on this saving to the customer or not.
Sky has assisted BT with the trials and was the first ISP to test the scheme. It charges its customers £50 for the full install with an engineer, but if adopted, this move would allow the firm to reduce its own costs.
However, there are concerns that performance will suffer and customers will slower speeds installing their own microfilter than if a professional did the job for them. Sky has yet to report on how successful the trials have been.
BT confirmed the new method would be available from 31 December 2013, but none of the ISPs running over its network have confirmed whether they will participate.