BT to give 41 market towns fibre broadband

Summary:The towns join the list of locations getting high-speed fibre broadband under BT's plan to reach two-thirds of the UK, with the aim of hooking them up by 2012

BT has named 41 market towns that will receive high-speed fibre broadband connections of up to 40Mbps by spring 2012.

Fibre broadband BT towns

BT has announced 41 towns will receive fibre broadband as part of its plan to connect two-thirds of British homes. Photo credit: David Meyer

The new locations — which join the 785 exchanges that BT has already announced — will serve around 300,000 businesses and homes using fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. In its announcement, the telco emphasised that project partnerships will drive progress in its £2.5bn plan to connect two-thirds of British homes to fibre-based fast broadband.

"The inclusion of 41 market towns in our rollout plan firmly demonstrates our commitment to finding solutions for local communities. However, in many cases, this will require a collective effort," Steve Robertson, chief executive of Openreach, said in the statement. "An infrastructure project on this scale — arguably as important to the future of the UK as the road or rail networks — can only be done in partnership."

BT defines market towns as medium and small towns that largely fall within a single exchange, a company spokesperson told ZDNet UK.

A majority of users covered by each exchange — namely, those in the most densely populated areas — will be able to access the new services, it said. However, "a minority" of residents may initially be excluded due to "technical and economic reasons", it added.

An infrastructure project on this scale — arguably as important to the future of the UK as the road or rail networks — can only be done in partnership.

– Steve Robertson, Openreach

Race to Infinity
On 3 January, BT announced the six winners of its Race to Infinity competition, which encouraged people living in remote villages to vote in order to have their exchange upgraded to fibre technology.

The telco's FTTC product is capped to provide users with download speeds of up to 40Mbps and uploads of up to 10Mbps. BT is also trialling fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connectivity that can provide downstream speeds of up to 100Mbps.

On Wednesday, NYNet — a North Yorkshire County Council-formed ISP — announced that it will bring fibre broadband to 150 residents and businesses in Farndale, Blakey, Bransdale, Rudland, Beadlarn Rigg and East Moors.

The service will connect by fibre to Gillamoor School on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors and will then be distributed wirelessly in three directions over an area of nine miles. Residents have been told to expect download and upload speeds of up to 6Mbps.

Topics: Networking


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