BT Fibre Reaches 15 Million UK Premises

BT fibre is now available in more than half of UK premises with up to 200,000 added each week

More than 15 million premises in the UK have access to the BT Openreach fibre network, covering more than half of all UK homes and businesses.

BT claims its rollout of fibre is around 17 months ahead of schedule, with 100,000 and 200,000 additional premises added to the network every week.

The rollout comprises a mixture of Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC), which offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps, and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technologies.

The company said it is on target to reach its goal of connecting 19 million premises by the end of Spring 2014 and claims its £2.5 billion investment has ensured the UK is well-placed to have the best broadband in the UK among major European economies by the end of 2015.

BT fibre targets

fibre“Fibre broadband is at the heart of our business and so it is great that we have now passed more than 50 percent of UK premises,” said Openreach chief executive Liv Garfield.

“This is a significant milestone and one that our engineers can be proud of. They have worked through many months of appalling weather to bring the benefits of fibre to cities, towns and villages and this is making a genuine difference to how people live their lives.

“Fibre broadband can play an important part in stimulating and supporting an economic recovery. Our investment, together with that of our partners, is helping to generate thousands of jobs and give small businesses the speeds that were previously the preserve of larger ones based in cities.”

In addition to its own investment, BT has also won all of the government funding available under the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, which aims to provide fibre access in areas which would not otherwise be served commercially. However, this has come under scrutiny from European regulators, who questioned whether this amounted to state funding before giving the project the all clear.

BT’s competitors have also voiced concerns. TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding has expressed concerns that competition is not as strong as it is in copper as 95 percent of all consumers take their fibre broadband from either BT or Virgin Media. She has called for the sector to be more heavily regulated by the government.

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