BT Adds 98 Exchanges To Openreach Network

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Wholesale network brings fibre to new communities across parts of the UK

BT Openreach has added fibre to another 98 exchanges as part of its £2.5 billion investment into the roll-out of the technology.

BT said the deployment will add nearly 800,000 homes and businesses to Openreach’s fibre network, offering them significantly faster speeds than they currently receive.

The service currently offers speeds of up to 100Mbps, with plans to increase this to 330Mbps currently underway, as BT looks to speed up its network as well as expand it.

Expanding network

The exchanges are set to be enabled by late 2013 and will assist BT in reaching its target of serving two thirds of UK premises  with fibre by the end of 2014. The new exchanges are located in all parts of the UK, ranging from Manchester and Glasgow to the Isle of Wight and the Highlands.

“This is great news for 98 communities across the UK. Our roll-out of fibre continues apace, with over 10 million homes now having access to the many benefits this technology can deliver,” said Mike Galvin, Openreach MD Network Investment. “Today’s announcement brings us another important step closer towards our goal of providing this service to two-thirds of the UK by the end of 2014. We are keen to go beyond this with the help of BDUK funding and further engagement with local government and communities.”

Openreach, which makes fibre available to other providers on a wholesale basis using a combination of Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) technologies, added 178 exchanges to its network last December.

BT has also looked at expanding its trial of FTTP to blocks of flats, but suffered embarrassment last week when an outage left customers in London and the Southeast without Internet access.

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