3aIT Blog

BT InfinityAny BT customers that have signed up to their "Infinity 1" fibre broadband package may be for a nice surprise. The download speed for these users could be doubling for no extra charge. Historically, this package offered a 40mbps download speed. It was briefly raised to 52mbps. This upgrade now increases this further to 76mbps. Many users have already been upgraded, with the remainder expected to be complete soon.

It's worth noting here that 76mbps is the maximum speed possible. In practise, many will find they can't achieve this speed in their property. Infinity is a fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) service. This means that while there is a fibre connection between their nearest BT roadside cabinet and the local exchange, the final cable run between that cabinet and your house is still over the ancient copper lines that were only really designed for making phone calls - not the massive amounts of data that are sent over an internet connection. As the distance between a house and a cabinet increases, the maximum internet speed possible reduces. This will remain the case until we're at the point that fibre is run all the way to the property (FTTP). This service is currently only available to a tiny percentage of the country.

So, what of the Infinity 2 customers mentioned in the headline? Unless they've been paying close attention to technology news, this announcement will likely have passed them by. However, it is significant for them. Infinity 2 always used to be (at best) twice the speed of Infinity 1. With this speed increase, there is literally no difference between them. There are a couple of rarely used extras like additional cloud storage space which remain exclusive to the Infinity 2 package, but the bread and butter side of it - the internet speed, is now the same.

Therefore, these customers are currently paying £5 a month more than their Infinity 1 counterparts for (in most circumstances) literally no gain whatsoever. BT may consolidate these two packages at some point in the future, of course. However, at the moment, we would advise anyone using Infinity 2 that it would certainly be worth contacting BT and asking for a "downgrade" to the almost identical Infinity 1 package. A couple of caveats here - if you are currently in the middle of the initial contract, BT will not allow this regrade. Also, a package change will probably mean signing a new 18 month contract, so bear this in mind if you had any plans to move away from BT any time soon.