BT has added 178 telephone exchanges to its list of those that will be upgraded to provide super-fast, fibre-based broadband.
BT has named another 178 telephone exchanges that will be upgraded to provide super-fast, fibre-based broadband. Photo credit: BT
The exchanges, announced on Monday, include 17 locations in Cornwall that will be upgraded as part of the part-EU funded fibre programme for that county. Most of the 178 will be upgraded during 2012, and BT Openreach says the newly announced exchanges will take its national fibre programme up to around 80 percent completion.
"Super-fast broadband is already within reach of more than six million premises today and we are on track to pass 10 million premises next year," Openreach chief Olivia Garfield said in a statement. "Our ambitions do not stop there. We will make fibre available to two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014, and we want to go even further."
Scotland and Wales will both see significant boosts in super-fast broadband availability. The Scottish rollout will give access to more than 277,000 homes and businesses, and the Welsh deployment to nearly 175,000.
The majority of this rollout involves fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC), which offers up-to-40Mbps download speeds now and will next year take that up to 80Mbps. Full fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) offers faster speeds — up to 110Mbps now and 300Mbps next year — but is costlier to roll out and therefore makes up a much smaller part of the overall deployment.
Although its existing fibre plan aims to cover 66 percent of the UK, BT says it could take that up to 90 percent with governmental Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funding. Some rival ISPs, such as Geo and Cable and Wireless, and Fujitsu, have recently quit the bidding process for certain regional deployments, saying the terms of the procurement process favoured BT.