» ISP News » 

BT Expands its Fibre Broadband ISP Network to Pass 15 Million UK Premises

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 (9:29 am) - Score 1,468

BT has today confirmed that its national £2.5bn commercial rollout of fibre optic based superfast broadband (FTTC / FTTP) ISP services, which is set to reach 66% of the UK by spring 2014 (18 months ahead of schedule), has now passed more than 15 million premises (the operators 2014 target is for 19m).

As a result BT claims that its up to 80Mbps capable FTTC and 330Mbps FTTP lines can now reach more than half of UK homes and businesses. On top of that BTOpenreach, which maintains BT’s national telecoms network, is currently passing between 100,000 – 200,000 additional premises with the new service every week.

Liv Garfield, CEO of Openreach, said:

Fibre broadband is at the heart of our business and so it is great that we have now passed more than fifty per cent of UK premises. 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. These speeds will help them to become more nimble and responsive and that in turn will help them to expand. We are already seeing this in areas, both urban and rural, where fibre is available.

Customers want faster speeds and that is what we will give them. More than sixty companies are already using our network so customers also have plenty of choice. There is a level playing field and what could be fairer than that?”

BT is also keen to remind that it’s been busy winning all of the separate state aid supported Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) contracts, including those for Cambridgeshire, Cumbria, Devon and Somerset, Hampshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, Kent and Medway, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, North Yorkshire, Rutland, The Scottish Highlands and Islands, Shropshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Wales and Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire.

Openreach has previously indicated that its superfast broadband network could be extended beyond 66% to reach 90% of UK homes and businesses by 2017, albeit only provided it wins the lion’s share of around £1bn in public funding from BDUK. BT itself has also committed a further £1bn to help match-fund with related BDUK products. The government currently aims for 90% of people in each UK local authority area to have access to a superfast broadband (25-30Mbps+) service by 2015.

However critics of the BDUK scheme frequently complain that BT is the only operator left that can bid for related contracts (BT’s rivals have all withdrawn over economic and regulatory concerns), which makes it difficult for local authorities to negotiate favourable deals.

Leave a Comment
24 Responses
  1. Sledgehammer says:

    BT hype nothing more.

  2. Gareth says:

    I don’t see why people always complain about BT? They are the only ones prepared to roll out Fibre to the whole country. You either want it or you don’t

    How long have Virgin Media/NTL/Telewest been in the cable game? And they still only cover about 50% of the UK. They don’t want to spend the money.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      I think for Virgin it’s more about staying below a certain level so that they don’t get included in Ofcom’s short list of operators with Significant Market Power (SMP) and thus subject to similar BT style regulations, which might force them to offer wholesale access to their network.

      Also Virgin built its network with almost entirely commercial investment, while BT’s was originally put in place through public money when it was state owned. But on the other hand BT has since replaced a large part of that network through its own commercial investment.

    2. Kyle says:

      It’s also not the whole country, nor either to every cabinet in a given populus.

  3. Kits says:

    I still have no access to FTTC dates have changed 4 times now, the last date to pass without the FTTC happening was 31st December 2012. They removed all info for my area then I found out they now have 31st March 2014. The green cabinets are in place yet it is a year down the road, this is too slow a rollout for a center of a large town. My exchange caters for 16,024 residential premises and 568 non-residential premises with new premises being built on all available plots.

    This is too slow for a company of this size the failure to complete on dates given is not a good sign I await the march 2014 date expecting some other reason to postpone the upgrade when every exchange around mine is already FTTC enabled and has been for years.

    Then you wounder why people have a go at BT and yes I am a BT shareholder but I do feel if they need a kick in public then so be it.

    1. gadget says:

      you could well get them before Mar-14, it’s been explained on TBB forums that this is a date in response to the ASA complaints. Have you tried emailing the Openreach nga query address?

      “”The change in dates on the website is as a result of the recent Advertising Standards Agency ruling –Openreach will be moving to provide a six-and-nine-month view of when exchanges will be enabled to improve the accuracy of this data when it is presented to end-users by CPs. ” from http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/fibre/t/4211697-re-rfs-date-moved-once-again-arghhhh.html

  4. DTMark says:

    We’re “window shopping” for a new home as the 3G broadband is so expensive here.

    The last two places I looked at both had FTTC – one in Holyborne with a linespeed estimate of 24Meg, and one in Basingstoke with a linespeed estimate of 20Meg, though it was cabled anyway so no need for it.

    Let’s not pretend this is a “superfast broadband” rollout, that’s yet to come.

  5. NGA for all says:

    15m homes passed, Congrats, ahead of time and well below budget. More openness on costs incurred would increase appetite for more public investment in a 15-25 year fibre transition plan in urban.

    1. Sledgehammer says:

      There maybe 15M homes passed, BUT a very large chunk of that 15M DO NOT have there cab enabled.
      So they cannot order FTTC.

      That’s my gripe with BT not declaring how many people subscribe to FTTC and FTTH/B. Does anyone know apart from BT just what the take is?

    2. FibreFred says:

      I’m sure Openreach have the figures on how many subscribe but even that is totally different to how many customers it is available to.

      You want a figure that represents those that can order I guess

    3. FibreFred says:

      Actually is that 15million that figure? It is available to order for 15million people? That is who I read it

      Where are you getting your info that out of the 15m some cannot order?

    4. Sledgehammer says:

      I for one cannot order FTTC, my cab is not enabled. Likewise other parts of Wallasey have cabs that have not been upgraded. While the exchange was fibre enabled last JULY 2012, so there you have it. BT claim that Wallasey exchange area is open for FTTC and 28000/30000 customers can get FTTC, rubbish when about half the cabs have not been upgraded.

    5. Sledgehammer says:

      I for one cannot order FTTC, my cab is not enabled. Likewise other parts of Wallasey have cabs that have not been upgraded. While the exchange was fibre enabled last JULY 2012, so there you have it. BT claim that Wallasey exchange area is open for FTTC and 28000/30000 customers can get FTTC, rubbish when about half the cabs have not been upgraded.
      The cabs that have been upgraded to FTTC are all in VM cabled areas, the rest will get done (when?).

    6. FibreFred says:

      Understood, but what has that got to do with 15m figure? Why do you assume that once an exchange is FTTC enabled that all of the people on that exchange are counted?

      That is your assumption but I don’t think its the correct one

      “Over half of UK homes and businesses can now access fibre broadband as the Openreach rollout has passed more than 15 million premises. ”


      Why are you assuming you are in that 15m? it says “can now access/passed more than 15 million premises” you can’t access so why assume you are in that figure

    7. Sledgehammer says:

      @Fibre Fred

      What I am sayin is this. BT claim to have passed 15M homes that can get FTTC. Is this the number of exchanges that have been fibre enabled = 15M customers. Or is it the actual number of people that can ask and get a FTTC connection right now today. If BT have used the total number of connections per exchange fibre enabled, then I dont see how how they can make that claim. Then they could be using the total number of cabs that are up and running providing FTTC which begs the question which is right.
      I tend to think that there are a lot less than 15M that can actually get FTTC today.

    8. FibreFred says:

      I understand what you are saying Sledgehammer, I’ve not seen anything anywhere where it states the figures are based on exchanges enabled, that would be pointless.

      “they could be using the total number of cabs that are up and running providing FTTC ”

      Correct and there’s no reason to assume that they are not using those figures. You cannot have access to the FTTC product with just one part of the puzzle (exchange) it needs two (exchange + cab) as you know.

      Its only yourself saying that BT is using figures based on exchanges

      “I tend to think that there are a lot less than 15M that can actually get FTTC today.” you can think that of course 🙂 but Openreach are saying it is available (and must be to order) for 15m premises.

      Maybe Mark has a contact in Openreach to clarify but I don’t see why you’d be assuming what you are assuming or what you are basing it on.

      I just read it as it is, 15m premises can order the product

  6. Bob says:

    We often see it written on sites like this that BT will be “rolling out their usual mix of 25% FTTP and 75% FTTC”.

    Can I point out that this would mean there are 3.75 million FTTP LInes, which is obviously cr@p. Fibre to the home council estimate 200k lines for the UK, so more like 1.33%.

  7. Kyle says:

    Regardless of how many homes are passed offers no significant information as to how many can actually benefit from FTTC. To make matters worse, the definition of superfast and the lowering of BTO’s fault threshold can often leave people with no better service (or sometimes even worse) than with ADSL2+.

    Once my contract is up next month, I’ll be back on ADSL2+ as it was more stable and reliable, unlike the junk I was sold as superfast.

    1. Bob2002 says:

      What speeds were you getting from FTTC? Are you close enough to an aggregation node to make fibre on demand a possibility?

    2. FibreFred says:

      I do not believe for a second you can get less on FTTC that you do on ADSL unless there is an actual fault.

    3. DTMark says:

      From what I see, slower downstream is uncommon though not impossible.

      Slower upstream than ADSL2+ while still not common is not quite so rare.

  8. fastman says:


    it appears this is not about the number of presmises covered but the fact that you are not covered — the exchange is enabled , each cab has a commecial criteria against meaning cabs will either be deployed or not deployed — for the number of premies that have been deployed – i would assume that those deployed cabs cover majority of premises in the exchange — assume you are on small cab — suggest yo find out what is happening to that cab under bDUK or you look to fund it via your community (see Openreach FAQ’s

    1. Sledgehammer says:

      In Wallasey BT havce only installed fibre cabs in the VM cabled area, leaving roughly half of Wallasey without fibre enabled cabs. Also the whole of Wallasey is a very tightly knitted area, no long runs fron cab to pole to home, probably less than 400m.

  9. telecom engineer says:

    Dtmark, where areyou getting your info? I have worked on the high hundreds of fibre lines and only once have i seen it deliver less than adsl in that adsl gave 2meg but constant drops and fttc gave 7 meg until dlm kicked in due to drops and gave a steady 750k down 512k up The line was a few km from the cab and should never have been provisioned. If we abandoned adsl all together then the lower frequencies could be very beneficialto such longlines but as we stand, dlm aside it at worst gives adsl speeds often with much better uploads

Comments are closed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £20.00 (*22.00)
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £21.95 (*36.52)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Reward Card
  • Vodafone £22.00 (*25.00)
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £23.00 (*32.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • TalkTalk £23.00 (*29.95)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Community Fibre £25.00 (*29.50)
    Speed: 300Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Double Speed Boost
  • Hyperoptic £25.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Virgin Media £26.00 (*52.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £26.00 (*29.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Gigaclear £29.00 (*49.00)
    Speed: 300Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (3371)
  2. BT (2975)
  3. Politics (1884)
  4. Building Digital UK (1883)
  5. FTTC (1869)
  6. Openreach (1792)
  7. Business (1634)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1436)
  9. Statistics (1380)
  10. FTTH (1362)
  11. 4G (1244)
  12. Fibre Optic (1149)
  13. Wireless Internet (1135)
  14. Virgin Media (1132)
  15. Ofcom Regulation (1123)
  16. Vodafone (819)
  17. EE (810)
  18. TalkTalk (747)
  19. Sky Broadband (726)
  20. 5G (726)
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact