BT’s local access division Openreach will deploy fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology at 29 exchanges across the UK. This will bring speeds of up to 40Mb/s – and potentially 60Mb/s - within reach of 500,000 homes and businesses. Areas of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Greater Manchester will be amongst the first locations to benefit from this initial deployment.
Whilst the majority of the locations are urban, two of them– Calder Valley (near Halifax) and Taffs Well (near Cardiff) – are not and BT will be looking to learn lessons from deploying fibre in such environments. The next set of locations – serving a further million homes and businesses – will be announced in the Autumn.
Whilst Openreach will deploy the technology, it will be up to Communications Providers (CPs) to develop services based on that technology and to sell them to customers.
The roll out is the next stage in the UK’s biggest ever investment programme in super-fast broadband. BT has pledged to spend £1.5 billion by 2012 to ensure that 40% of UK homes and businesses – some 10 million premises - can access fibre-based services. The UK already leads the way in terms of DSL broadband access and penetration and BT’s plan will ensure the UK climbs the speed tables as well.
Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreach, the division of BT responsible for the delivery of the plans, said: “Super-fast broadband is essential to the UK’s future and so it is great to announce this initial set of locations. The wider industry will now be able to plan ahead as we will be making our services available on a wholesale basis. This approach will benefit customers as there will undoubtedly be fierce competition for their business.
“We have worked very closely with industry and with local and regional authorities to choose these sites and I would like to thank everyone who has worked with us to make this happen. We are in discussions with many other authorities so expect many similar announcements in the months to come.
"The regulatory picture is complex and whilst Ofcom has given us a very welcome green light, we will require a few more over the coming months. We remain confident though that Ofcom recognises the need for an environment that encourages investment"
FTTC technology – which is being piloted this summer in Muswell Hill, London and Whitchurch, Wales in advance of the wider roll-out – will offer initial speeds of up to 40Mb/s with the prospect of those rising to up to 60Mb/s. This will give customers enough speed to run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications. For example, some members of a family could be watching different HD movies while others were gaming or working on complex graphics or video projects.
It will also provide the best “upstream” speeds in the UK with speeds of up to 10Mb/s. These will enable customers to post videos, experience hi-definition video conferencing and enjoy interactive hi-definition gaming to the full.
Openreach will deliver FTTC services by installing fibre between local exchanges and the street cabinets that sit between those exchanges and the premises served by them. The fibre will transform the speeds available even though the last link in the chain – from the street cabinet to the premise – will remain copper. Openreach is aware there are some premises that will not be able to be served by this technology and so they are currently looking at alternative solutions for those.
Openreach already delivers the UK’s fastest broadband speeds at Ebbsfleet in Kent where speeds of up to 100Mb are being used by customers.
These speeds, using fibre to the premise (FTTP) technology, are substantially ahead of any other residential service in the UK. Copper-based broadband services – offering speeds of up to 24Mb/s - are also currently available to CPs from exchanges serving 40% of UK homes and business.
|CHELMSFORD||Essex||East of England|
|ST. ALBANS||Hertfordshire||East of England|
|WATFORD||Hertfordshire||East of England|
|HEMEL HEMPSTEAD||Hertfordshire||East of England|
|LEAGRAVE||Bedfordshire||East of England|
|LUTON||Bedfordshire||East of England|
|BURY||Greater Manchester||North West|
|DIDSBURY||Greater Manchester||North West|
|FAILSWORTH||Greater Manchester||North West|
|HEATON MOOR||Greater Manchester||North West|
|OLDHAM||Greater Manchester||North West|
|RUSHOLME||Greater Manchester||North West|
|BELFAST BALMORAL||Belfast||Northern Ireland|
|TAFFS WELL||Rhondda Cynon Taf||Wales|
|HALIFAX||West Yorkshire||Yorkshire and Humber|
|PUDSEY||West Yorkshire||Yorkshire and Humber|
|CALDER VALLEY||West Yorkshire||Yorkshire and Humber|
BT has revealed the first locations to receive super-fast broadband.
From early 2010, BT Openreach will deploy fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology at 29 exchanges across Britain.
Areas of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Greater Manchester will be lucky enough to access speeds of up to 40Mbps, with the potential for that to increase to 60Mbps.
The majority of locations will be in urban areas, but BT has picked Calder Valley near Halifax and Taffs Well near Cardiff to test deployment in more isolated environments.