CloudNetworksWorkspace

BT Announces More Exchanges To Be Blessed With FTTC

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

BT has revealed the details of 73 telephone exchanges in the UK set to be wired up to fibre to the cabinet

More areas of the UK are set to join the ranks of those enjoying superfast broadband, after BT named another tranche of exchanges that will be hooked up to fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) service.

The complete list of the 73 telephone exchanges to be upgraded are detailed here, and include Fleetwood, Glasgow Paisley, Glastonbury, Inverness, Swansea and Wolverhampton. Delivery dates for the deployment can be found here.

FTTC, not FTTP

It is worth remembering these exchanges will be FTTC enabled and will not enjoy the full fat superfast broadband offering that only fibre to the premise (FTTP) can deliver. Likely speeds for the FTTC network could be as high as 80Mbps (downstream), compared to 300Mbps for the FTTP option. However, many people will see nowhere near these headline speeds.

BT’s FTTC announcement today is part of its pledge to invest £2.5 billion in fibre-based broadband to two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015.

The government is hoping its £530 million Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) pot will help bring fibre to other parts of the UK. The first BDUK deals are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Broadband slow lane

Some believe the UK is heading towards a two-tier broadband network, where those not in major urban areas get stuck in the broadband slow lane for the foreseeable future. This is despite a recent study from researchers at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) which found the UK has the most Internet-dependent economy.

In December, the Countryside Alliance warned of the growing digital divide when it said there had been a “underwhelming” amount of progress rolling out superfast broadband in rural areas.

But some progress is being made in difficult areas. For example, last week it was revealed that some residents and businesses on the western tip of the Isle of Wight would be connected up to faster broadband line speeds thanks to infrastructure solutions provider C4L.

Now more parts of the Isle of Wight are set to benefit from faster broadband. BT will deliver fibre optic broadband to 3,000 more properties in the town of Ventnor, located on the southern tip of the island.