British fixed line incumbent BT has announced that it plans to more than double the availability of its fastest fibre-based broadband service. Having initially set out plans to deliver speeds of up to 100Mbps using fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology to one million UK premises, the operator has said it will increase this target figure to 2.5 million properties. BT expects to roll out fibre-based services to a total of ten million properties by 2012, the bulk of which will be connected using fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology.
As part of its revised proposals BT will now deploy FTTP in some areas where copper services are already available; previously the telcos strategy was only to deploy FTTP in new build sites only. The company said that, having made good progress with its fibre rollout – it claims to be commercially ahead of target – the expansion of FTTP availability will be contained within its original overall investment target of GBP1.5 billion (USD2.4 billion).
Commenting on the new plans, Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreach, BT’s unit responsible for deploying the fibre technology said: ‘This development shows that we are determined to bring world-leading broadband speeds to UK homes and businesses. Service providers have asked us for more FTTP and so we have listened to them. The UK already leads the world when it comes to broadband availability and today’s announcement will help the UK climb the speed league tables as well. The UK is well placed but we need to invest for the future so that customers can access the rich applications that will be popular in a few years time.’