BT delays hinder superfast broadband rollout

ADSL2+ rollout scheduled for between 2007 and 2011, as BT admits it is inextricably linked to delayed 21CN project

BT will not offer the next generation of faster fixed-line broadband services until summer next year at the earliest, with some people having to wait until 2011.

The telco announced on Monday that this superfast broadband, known as ADSL2+, would be rolled out alongside 21CN, its ambitious £10bn network upgrade. 21CN has suffered delays, and will not be completed until 2011.

That delay has placed BT at least two years behind its competitors. Easynet, which is owned by Sky, and O2 (which bought Be, the ISP, this summer) have offered ADSL2+ in several UK cities since 2005.

"ADSL2+ is linked to 21CN and fits in with the 21CN rollout plan," a BT spokesperson said. "BT is the only operator to commit to 24Mbps services nationwide. Obviously that takes time."

BT now says that some areas will receive ADSL2+ next summer, and that 50 percent of the UK (by area) will receive it by early 2008.

That statement is an optimistic one, as BT has already revealed that far less than half the country will be upgraded to 21CN by 2008.