BT sees fibre finish line with addition of 73 towns

Summary:The telecoms company says it has now listed 'almost all' the places that will be covered by its UK-wide fibre upgrade, which will offer super-fast broadband to 16 million nearby homes and businesses

BT has revealed the next 73 exchanges to be upgraded to fibre, saying it has now named almost all the places to be covered by its UK-wide deployment of super-fast broadband.

Fibre cabinet

BT has added 73 exchanges to its list of sites to be upgraded to super-fast broadband. Photo credit: David Meyer

The latest tranche of exchanges, announced on Tuesday, will bring fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) to around 705,000 homes and businesses in Scotland, the Midlands, the North West and other regions. The upgrade is set to go live in the spring of 2013.

Another one or two lists of fibre upgrades will follow, BT said. After those, the company will have named all the exchanges needed for it to hit its target of offering fibre to two-thirds of British homes, or 16 million households, within the next few years.

"We have now reported exchanges covering almost 16 million homes and businesses in the UK. This means that we have nearly completed the announcement of our commercial footprint of approximately two-thirds of the UK premises by the end of 2014," the company said in a statement.

Last week, BT said its fibre rollout had already resulted in more than seven million homes and businesses being able to get super-fast broadband. It is aiming to hit 10 million by the end of this year.

All of the exchanges listed on Tuesday will deliver FTTC speeds of up to 40Mbps, and then up to 80Mbps, once BT doubles its FTTC speeds this spring.

However, customers will be able to upgrade their connections significantly by asking for fibre to be run all the way to their buildings (fibre to the premises, or FTTP), rather than just to their closest street cabinet.

BT said this 'FTTP on demand' option, which will deliver speeds of up to 330Mbps, will be "aimed at small-to-medium-sized businesses, not at the mass market". It is expected to go on sale in all FTTC-enabled areas by the spring of next year. Pricing for FTTP on demand has not yet been worked out, a company spokesman told ZDNet UK.

Click through to see the full list of the latest exchanges to be fibre-enabled.

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Topics: Networking


David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

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