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BT launches 40Mbps fibre-based broadband

The company has begun its rollout of fibre-based broadband services, which will include services running up to 100Mbps by 2012
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

BT has begun rolling out its fibre-optic-based internet access service, BT Infinity, which will offer download speeds of up to 40Mbps for a fee starting at £19.99 per month.

The company said on Thursday that it will offer two pricing plans for the service, with upload speeds of up to 2Mbps included in the £19.99-per-month plan, and upload speeds of up to 10Mbps for a monthly fee of £24.99.

The higher rate also gives users an unlimited monthly usage allowance, a better security package and unlimited Wi-Fi minutes on BT's Openzone network, the company said.

BT added that its cheaper fibre package offers 'a saving of £7.47 per month on Virgin Media's XXL highest-speed service'.

Infinity is based on fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, meaning a local street cabinet is connected to BT's network via fibre, with copper used for the final connection between the cabinet and the premises.

BT, which has five million broadband customers, is also rolling out fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services, and has pledged to spend £1.5bn on the combined build-out of its FTTC and FTTH network.

The company has said it plans to connect 10 million homes and businesses to fibre-based services by mid-2012, with 75 percent of those expected to have access to FTTC services. The remaining 25 percent, or about 2.5 million, will be connected via FTTH, which will offer download speeds of up to 100Mbps, BT said.

The company said in December that it was ahead of schedule with its fibre rollout.

BT said on Thursday that it plans to make Infinity available to four million homes and businesses by the end of 2010. Openreach, BT's local-access division, began selling fibre services from enabled exchanges on a commercial basis last week, a BT spokesman told ZDNet UK.

"We want to give our customers the best possible online experience and are committed to rolling out super-fast speeds across the UK," BT Retail chief executive Gavin Patterson said in a statement.

Also on Thursday, BT announced a commercial version of the FTTC service, called BT Business Total Broadband Fibre. From Monday, BT said, it will begin offering this service to new and existing customers of BT Total Broadband and BT Business in areas with enabled exchanges.

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