Wednesday, July 8, 2009

BT Accelerates its Fiber Rollout

BT will accelerate its fibre rollout to cover more than a million additional homes and businesses across the UK. The acceleration of BT's plans will see 1.5 million homes have access to such services by early summer 2010 . A million of those homes will have access by March, which is a doubling of the original pace of deployment.

BT said it aims to make super-fibre broadband available to 40 percent of the UK -- or some 10 million homes -- by 2012. The company has pledged to spend £1.5 billion for the rollout. This investment falls within BT's current capital expenditure plans. Sixty nine locations across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will benefit from this latest phase of BT's investment programme. The pilots of the technology went live this week in Muswell Hill, London and Whitchurch, South Wales. Sixteen service providers are participating in the pilots.

BT is using a mix of Fibre to the premise (FTTP) and Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) topologies, with FTTC expected to be the predominant architecture. FTTP delivers downstream speeds of up to 100 Mbps-- and potentially up to 1000 Mbps in the future - and upstream speeds of up to 40 Mbps. FTTC can be used to support download speeds of up to 40 Mbps initially, potentially rising to 60 Mbps in the future. Initial upstream speeds will be between 5 and 10 Mbps rising to 15 Mbps.

Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreach, the division of BT responsible for the roll-out said: "Fibre is the future and so we're speeding up the pace of our plans. We had aimed to get fibre to half a million homes by next March but we're now being far more ambitious. We've received a tremendous response to date and so we're keen to get on with the job.

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