BT speeds up super-fast-fibre plans

Tags: British Telecom (LON:BT.A)

Quick Link:

Add to My Vault: x

1.5 million homes to have access by early summer 2010

BT today revealed the next locations where it will make super-fast fibre broadband available . The new locations cover more than a million 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.

The plan is the first chapter in BT’s longer-term programme to make super-fast fibre broadband available to 40 per cent of the UK – or some 10 million homes - by 2012. The company has pledged to spend £1.5 billion – the UK’s biggest single commercial investment in fibre broadband – on this programme.

Unlike other companies, BT will offer access to service providers on an open, wholesale basis thereby supporting a competitive market.

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.

“BT has invested billions in creating Broadband Britain yet it has done so whilst offering others equal access to its network – demonstrating once again that competition doesn’t have to be a barrier to investment.” 

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.

This investment falls within BT’s current capital expenditure plans.

List of locations:

Name                                                                             Region / Nation
BERKHAMSTED                                                          East of England
BILLERICAY                                                                  East of England
BRENTWOOD                                                              East of England
ELSTREE                                                                      East of England
HAINAULT                                                                     East of England
HODDESDON                                                              East of England
LEA VALLEY                                                                East of England
LOUGHTON                                                                  East of England
STANFORD-LE-HOPE                                               East of England
WALTHAM CROSS                                                    East of England
WOODFORD                                                               East of England
GLOSSOP                                                                    East Midlands
HINCKLEY                                                                    East Midlands
BARKING                                                                      London
BARNET                                                                        London
ELTHAM                                                                        London
GREENWICH                                                                London
HORNCHURCH                                                            London
INGREBOURNE                                                            London
NEW SOUTHGATE                                                      London
PONDERS END                                                           London
SIDCUP                                                                         London
SLADE GREEN                                                           London
STAMFORD HILL                                                        London
CHESTER-LE-STREET                                             North East
DURHAM                                                                      North East
EAST HERRINGTON                                                  North East
HETTON-LE-HOLE                                                     North East
ALTRINCHAM                                                              North West
ASHTON-UNDER-LYNE                                            North West
CHEETHAM                                                                 North West
CHORLTON                                                                 North West
DENTON                                                                      North West
HYDE                                                                            North West
MANCHESTER EAST                                                North West
MOSS SIDE                                                                 North West
PRESTWICH                                                                North West
STALYBRIDGE                                                            North West
SWINTON, GREATER MANCHESTER                    North West
URMSTON                                                                    North West
WALKDEN                                                                   North West
WILMSLOW                                                                 North West
LISBURN                                                                      Northern Ireland
EDINBURGH CORSTORPHINE                               Scotland
EDINBURGH CRAIGLOCKHART                            Scotland
GLASGOW BRIDGETON                                          Scotland
GLASGOW GIFFNOCK                                             Scotland
BASINGSTOKE                                                          South East
DARTFORD                                                                South East
BRISTOL NORTH                                                       South West
BRISTOL WEST                                                         South West
DOWNEND                                                                 South West
BARRY                                                                         Wales
CAERPHILLY                                                              Wales
PENARTH                                                                    Wales
BIRMINGHAM, NORTHERN                                      West Midlands
FALLINGS PARK                                                       West Midlands
GREAT BARR                                                             West Midlands
LEAMORE                                                                   West Midlands
NUNEATON                                                                 West Midlands
TETTENHALL                                                              West Midlands
WEDNESBURY                                                           West Midlands
WALSALL                                                                    West Midlands
ARMLEY                                                                       Yorkshire
CASTLEFORD                                                            Yorkshire
HEADINGLEY                                                              Yorkshire
LOW MOOR                                                                 Yorkshire
PONTEFRACT                                                            Yorkshire
SHIPLEY                                                                       Yorkshire

Questions and Answers:

Q. Will you be rolling out FTTP or FTTC to these areas?
A. BT will be rolling out a mix of the two technologies but we expect that FTTC will be the most widely deployed.

Q. What is FTTP?
A. Fibre to the premise (FTTP) is a solution whereby fibre-optic cable is deployed from the exchange directly into the customer premise supporting super-fast broadband. It delivers downstream speeds of up to 100Mb/s – and potentially up to 1000Mb/s in the future - and upstream speeds of up to 40Mb/s. 

Q. What is FTTC?
A. Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) is a solution whereby fibre optic cable is deployed from the exchange to the street cabinet with the remainder of the connection - from the cabinet to the premise - using copper wiring. This combination of fibre and copper can be used to support super-fast broadband with speeds of up to 40mb/s initially, potentially rising to 60Mb/s in the future. Initial upstream speeds will be between 5 and 10Mbit/s rising to 15Mb/s.

Q. What criteria has BT used to select the latest locations to benefit from fibre-based broadband?
A. BT has consulted closely with its communications provider and service provider customers and with local and national government agencies to agree this next set of locations.

Q. How is BT making its fibre-based broadband technology available to consumers, businesses and service providers?
A. BT will offer access on an open, wholesale basis through both Openreach and BT Wholesale.

Q. When will these services be commercially available to consumer and businesses? How much will these services cost?
A. BT has already made these services available in Muswell Hill and Whitchurch and will be making the service available in further areas from March. It will be up to the individual providers to decide the timescales for offering these services to their end customers and to set the pricing.

Q. What does the Government's Digital Britain Report and the NGA Fund mean for BT?
A. BT believes there is no commercial case at present to extend fibre-based broadband much beyond 50 per cent of the UK, so we welcome the creation of an NGA Fund – as proposed in the Government's Digital Britain Report - as a creative and pragmatic solution for extending fibre-based broadband to parts of the country where otherwise it would not be economical to do so. BT is alone in having an open network that hundreds of other companies can and do access and we believe that funding should only be available to companies that are prepared to open their networks. BT looks forward to participating in the industry consultation on the NGA fund which opens in the Autumn.