BT expands broadband rollout

One hundred more local exchanges will get ADSL by the end of May, and BT says it is considering upgrading another 500 or so

BT announced on Monday that it will roll out ADSL to another 100 local exchanges by the end of May.

The move, which the telco said was in response to greater customer demand for broadband, will take the total number of ADSL-enabled exchanges up to 1110, and BT said this means that a total of 16 million households will be able to sign up for ADSL. BT also revealed that it is considering upgrading another 500 local exchanges, amid concerns that significant parts of the UK cannot buy an ADSL-based broadband product.

Paul Reynolds, chief executive of BT Wholesale, said: "We pledged last month that we would put broadband at the heart of BT moving forward, and today's announcements show us doing just that. With the growth in demand following our price cuts, these moves make excellent business sense for BT, as well as being further great news for Broadband Britain."

This additional rollout comes shortly after BT Wholesale cut the cost of its ADSL products. These price cuts appear have provided a big boost to the take-up of broadband. Reynolds said that BT is adding extra capacity to its existing ADSL-enabled local exchanges.

Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs), who resell BT Wholesale's products to customers, have been increasingly concerned that they are turning potential customers away because many local exchanges still have not been broadband-enabled.

There are about 5500 local exchanges throughout the UK. BT chairman Sir Christopher Bland told parliament earlier this year that it is not commercially viable for BT to roll out ADSL to more sparsely populated parts of the UK. BT has been criticised for the fact that its ADSL rollout concentrated on towns and cities, leaving many people in rural areas unable to get broadband.

Click here to see a full list of the local exchanges that BT will upgrade by the end of May.

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