Northern Ireland first to get 21CN completion

BT's next-generation network will be running across the region in 2010

Northern Ireland will be the first region in the UK where BT's next-generation broadband network will be completed, giving companies and residents access to a range of next-generation telecoms services.

The 21st Century Network (21CN) is currently being rolled out across the UK to offer a platform for high-bandwidth services, such as IPTV, and is expected to be fully completed in 2011.

On Thursday the BBC reported that the Northern Ireland rollout — which is costing £260m, out of a total bill for 21CN of £10bn — will be complete by 2010. Every region in the UK will see its rollout begin by the start of next year, although the first stages have already begun in South East Wales.

A spokesperson for BT confirmed that Northern Ireland would have a complete rollout by 2010, explaining that this was because Northern Ireland has only 160 telephone exchanges to link up, out of roughly 6,000 across the UK.

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