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> Both Be and O2 use BT for backhaul. The network was apparently set up in the early days using BT's BES/WES service. Be just rents capacity.
Erm yeah, but no, not quite - a BT BES / WES circuit, is just that - a point to point circuit. When you purchase a (for example) 1Gig Circuit, you get a Fibre connection that will run at 1Gbps - exactly the same speed as if you'd laid the fibre yourself.
You are technically correct that BT 'Owns' the fibre, but it isn't a case of buying capacity in the same sense that BT resells ADSL. The BES/WES circuits are uncontended, which is the important bit, and BT has no say whatsoever about what data can run over the fibres.
I'm quite certain you knew that, but didn't want others to shun Be on the premise that it's just another Resold BT service.
I've been with Be for several years now and am very happy - Regularly get 2MiB/s download... that's right MEBIBYTES - roughly 16.7 Mbps
I'm more than a mile from my exchange too. It isn't cheap (£17.50 pm) but worth it in my opinion for the unrestricted downloads, great speed and a /29 subnet of static IPs.