BT’s network arm Openreach has announced a further 163 exchange areas at which it expects to roll out fibre broadband technology commercially throughout 2013, with locations ranging from Torquay, Devon to Kilbirnie in Scotland. The operator claims that the latest phase of its fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) rollout will see more than one million homes and businesses added to the network footprint, adding to the eleven million premises that can already access the telco’s superfast services.
Commenting on the plans, Mike Galvin, Managing Director of Network Investment at Openreach, said: ‘Today’s announcement shows that we are well into our journey to bring fibre to two-thirds of the UK by the end of 2014. We have now announced the bulk of the exchanges we will be deploying fibre to under our own steam but we are keen to go even further with the help of BDUK [a team within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport set up to deliver the government’s broadband strategy funding]. We will continue to engage with local government and communities to try and give as many people as possible access to the benefits of fibre broadband.’
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, having launched commercial FTTC services in January 2010 under the ‘BT Infinity’ banner, BT’s fibre network rollout has since continued apace. Indeed, as a result of a faster-than-expected deployment, in October 2011 BT said it expected to complete the rollout to around two-thirds of the UK’s premises by the end of 2014, a year earlier than as per its original schedule, and today BT has enabled almost 1,100 exchanges with FTTC technology. Speeds too have been bolstered, with the fixed line incumbent in April 2012 confirming that maximum download rates on its FTTC network had been increased to up to 76Mbps, almost double the 40Mbps theoretical download rate it had initially offered.