Yes you can play it online today with the early release. The download speed seems totally random, I normally download demos in 10mins or so even if they are like a gig or so and im only 10% done after 30 mins so far
Some people with average connections are flying through it, others with awesome ones are taking ages. One guy said him and his bro started same time hes on 10% his bro over 30%.
I should be able to play around 9pm or so at this rate
The early release is only until the game is released, you get it for like 6 days then it stops working when the game is released. If your on PSN im not sure how you get it sorry, on xbox you need to download EA Season Ticket and subscribe which is around £18 i think.
You also get to try out games like tiger woods, nhl, madden, fifa street etc 3-4 days before released normally.