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BT Expand 20Mbps Broadband ISP Services to 85 Percent of UK Premises

Monday, Aug 20th, 2012 (2:11 am) - Score 1,389

BTWholesale has furnished ISPreview.co.uk with its latest “advanced copper” enablement update for August 2012, which reveals that their 20Mbps (ADSL2+) capable Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) / 21CN platform is now available to 85% of UK premises (homes and businesses) and is still expanding.

The update marks a respectable +5% increase on BT’s last March 2012 update, when the operators 21st Century Network / WBC coverage reached 80% of UK telephone exchanges. BT is now well on their way to expanding the reach of 21CN to the planned 90% by Spring 2013 (22.5 million premises).


BTWholesale Statement

Exchanges serving around 85% of UK homes and businesses are now enabled for Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) advanced copper services offering an up to 20Mbit/s broadband service with many additional benefits.

The news means that BT has finally managed to catch most of its major rivals, which have had similar coverage of ADSL2+ services for the past few years. For example, Sky Broadband’s unbundled (LLU) network currently reaches 83% of the UK via 1,965 telephone exchanges and will hit 88% by June 2013. TalkTalk is also close to 93% after unbundling 2,591 telephone exchanges.

It’s important not to confuse this with BT’s related £2.5bn deployment of fibre optic based superfast broadband (FTTC / P) services, which need the 21CN network but also require additional work at street cabinets (e.g. the installation of new fibre optic cable) before the service can go live.

At present BT intends to make its FTTC/P solutions available to 66% of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2014, although the operator has made no secret of its desire to push this out to 90% of the UK by around 2017 (mirroring their 21CN/WBC coverage target). BT has repeatedly said that it could only go beyond the 66% figure if it were to win the vast majority of the UK government’s £830m Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) budget, which is currently the subject of much debate.

A useful Excel spreadsheet for checking the future availability of WBC ADSL2+ and WBC FTTC services can be found by clicking this link (scroll to the bottom).


By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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