The company's overall plan is to push fibre-based super-fast broadband to two-thirds of the UK's homes and businesses — or 16 million premises — by 2015. On Tuesday, BT said it will be almost one-third of the way there by the end of June, and that it is on track to hit its overall target.
"Being able to bring faster broadband speeds within reach of more than five million premises is a significant milestone, and we are well on our way to passing 10 million in 2012 and two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015," BT Openreach chief Olivia Garfield said in a statement.
"This is the largest single commercial investment in fibre-based broadband infrastructure ever undertaken in the UK and is one of the biggest civil engineering projects running in the country at this time," she added. The nationwide rollout is budgeted at £2.5bn.
This is the largest single commercial investment in fibre-based broadband infrastructure ever undertaken in the UK.– Olivia Garfield, BT Openreach
The 66 exchanges named on Tuesday will be fibre enabled during 2012, with some coming online this year. These exchanges will all be used to offer fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) connectivity, which maxes out at 40Mbps. However, BT said in May that it will roughly double that speed next year.
BT was also supposed to start a rollout of faster, up-to-100Mbps fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connectivity in the summer. However, the company admitted in May that the schedule had been pushed back towards the end of the year, due to technical problems discovered in the FTTH trial phase.
According to Openreach, its massive fibre programme involves 30,000 cabinets, 200,000 distribution points, 1,000 exchanges and over 50,000km of fibre.