Britain’s fixed line incumbent BT has claimed that it has enabled more than half of the UK’s exchanges with its 21st Century Network-based (21CN-based) Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) product, offering downlink speeds of up to 24Mbps. According to ISPreview, the service is now available in more than 730 local exchanges across the country, with the telco noting that it is currently ahead of its rollout schedule. Commenting on the development, Sian Baldwin, BT Wholesale’s Director of Broadband & Content Services, said: ‘Already more than 550,000 end-users are enjoying our ADSL2+ copper next generation broadband service, with 20,000-30,000 more being added each week. Running over BT’s 21CN, WBC offers greater control, choice and flexibility as well as higher speeds. It supports the growing demand for high-speed access to a range of online services, including television, gaming and multiple voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) services.’ It is now expected that BT’s WBC services will be available to around 14 million Britons by the end of March 2010, while the telco aims to have increased coverage to 20 million possible customers by early 2011.
Elsewhere, BT announced that it had reached a total of one million public Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK, after doubling the total in just six months. It is understood that the operator’s Wi-Fi network comprises hotspots from the BT FON Wi-Fi Community, an initiative between BT and wireless network operator FON that allows users to securely share a portion of their Wi-Fi bandwidth through a separate channel on their wireless router with other members who are in range of their wireless router.