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BT reveals first locations for super-fast broadband

Openreach will deploy fibre-to-the-cabinet to 29 UK exchanges from next year, bringing speeds potentially as high as 60Mbps within reach of 500,000 homes and businesses
Written by Natasha Lomas, Contributor

BT has revealed the first exchanges that will get fibre to the cabinet, starting from next year.

The telco's local-access division Openreach will deploy fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) at 29 exchanges across the UK from early 2010, bringing speeds of up to 40Mbps — and potentially 60Mbps — within reach of 500,000 homes and businesses.

The technology will also enable upstream speeds of up to 10Mbps.

BT had been waiting for regulator Ofcom to give return-on-investment guarantees on fibre before moving ahead with deployments — and earlier this month Ofcom announced telecoms providers will be able to price wholesale super-fast broadband products themselves without any regulatory intervention.

BT has pledged to spend £1.5bn by 2012 to ensure 40 percent of UK homes and businesses — some 10 million premises — can access fibre-based services. This summer it is piloting FTTC in Muswell Hill, London and Whitchurch, Wales.

The majority of the 29 FTTC exchanges announced today are in urban locations, including eight in London, six in Greater Manchester, two in Glasgow and one each for Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. The east of England and the north-west will get six locations apiece, while Yorkshire and the Humber will get three FTTC exchanges.

Two of the exchanges are in rural locations: Taffs Well in Rhondda, South Wales and Calder Valley in West Yorkshire. BT said it will be "looking to learn lessons" — both economic and technological — from deploying fibre in such environments.

According to a BT spokeswoman, the 29 exchanges that will get FTTC were selected for a combination of reasons.

"We consulted with CPs [communications providers] and local authorities to gauge the level of interest they would see if fibre was rolled out, and that obviously played a part. We also looked at the economics of rolling it out in a given area, and how the technology would perform in that area," she told silicon.com.

The next set of locations — serving a further million homes and businesses — will be announced in the autumn, BT added.

Click here for the full list of exchanges.

The full list of FTTC exchanges

  • Chelmsford, Essex
  • St Albans, Hertfordshire
  • Watford, Hertfordshire
  • Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
  • Leagrave, Bedfordshire
  • Luton, Bedfordshire
  • Canonbury, London
  • Chingford, London
  • Edmonton, London
  • Enfield, London
  • Highams Park, London
  • Tottenham, London
  • Thamesmead, London
  • Woolwich, London
  • Bury, Greater Manchester
  • Didsbury, Greater Manchester
  • Failsworth, Greater Manchester
  • Heaton Moor, Greater Manchester
  • Oldham, Greater Manchester
  • Rusholme, Greater Manchester
  • Belfast Balmoral
  • Dean, Edinburgh
  • Glasgow Halfway
  • Glasgow Western
  • Cardiff
  • Taffs Well, Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Halifax, West Yorkshire
  • Pudsey, West Yorkshire
  • Calder Valley, West Yorkshire


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