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UPD BT List 19 Final UK Exchanges for their GBP2.5bn Fibre Broadband Rollout

Tuesday, Sep 24th, 2013 (2:36 pm) - Score 5,296

BT has taken us completely by surprise after they quietly revealed, through a series of low-key regional updates, that an additional 19 telephone exchanges had been squeezed into their national £2.5bn roll-out of superfast broadband (FTTC/P) products around the United Kingdom. No this time it really is the final batch of locations, truth!

Readers might recall our July 2013 story (here) in which we broke the news that an additional 9 telephone exchanges had been nudged into the operators commercial deployment and at that time we had no reason to believe that there would be any further updates after that.. well nothing as big as this. But after a little prodding we’ve learnt there are now 19 more.

BT, which didn’t feel as though this news was significant enough to warrant a press release (beg to differ), has stealthily added a further 19 locations into its commercial roll-out that should all be enabled by spring 2014. The intended coverage in these exchange areas will serve around 195,000 extra premises with up to 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology.

In addition, BTOpenreach will also carry out additional “infill” work in 293 previously announced telephone exchanges areas. The number of premises enabled for fibre broadband as a result of this infill work is around 250,000 homes and businesses. You heard it here first.

The Absolutely Final 19 Commercial Fibre Exchange Upgrades

ANFIELD – Merseyside
ASHFIELD – West Midlands
BEACON – West Midlands
BRADFORD – West Yorkshire
CANARY WHARF – Greater London
FARNWORTH – Greater Manchester
GOSCOTE – Leicestershire
HALESOWEN – West Midlands
HOLMEWOOD – Derbyshire
LEEDS – West Yorkshire
NETHERLEY – Merseyside
NEWCASTLE EAST – Tyne and Wear
NORTH SHIELDS – Tyne and Wear
ORRELL – Greater Manchester
RIPPONDEN – West Yorkshire
RUBERY – West Midlands
STONE CROSS – West Midlands
WAKEFIELD – West Yorkshire

At present BT’s commercial fibre deployment (excluding BDUK projects) aims to cover around 66% of the UK (more than 19 million homes and business) by spring 2014 (i.e. 1725 commercial fibre exchanges in total and around 500,000 street cabinet upgrades) and they state that the above exchanges really are “the last exchanges we expect to announce as part of our £2.5bn commercial investment in fibre broadband“.

Future upgrades (i.e. beyond 66% coverage) will now come through the government supported Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme and related projects with public funding support, which currently aim to cover 95% of the country with fixed line superfast broadband (25Mbps+) by 2017.

Readers can also visit Openreach’s Superfast-Broadband website, which contains the most up-to-date details about coverage in specific areas. It’s also important to mention that BT’s FTTC technology typically covers an average of around 85% of homes and businesses within an enabled telephone exchange area (i.e. having an upgraded exchange doesn’t mean you’ll be able to receive the service as street cabinet coverage is most important), although Point Topic suggests this figure is actually more like 75%.

Previous BT FTTx UK Exchange Updates
* March 2009 – 29 (FTTC) Exchanges
* July 2009 – 69 (FTTC) Exchanges
* January 2010 – 63 (FTTC) Exchanges
* March 2010 – 303 (FTTC) Exchanges
* September 2010 – 159 (FTTC/FTTP) Exchanges
* January 2011 – 41 (FTTC/FTTP) Exchanges
* April 2011 – 156 (FTTC/FTTP) Exchanges
* June 2011 – 66 (FTTC/FTTP) Exchanges
* December 2011 – 178 (FTTC) Exchanges
* March 2012 – 73 (FTTC) Exchanges
* June 2012 – 98 (FTTC) Exchanges
* September 2012 – 163 (FTTC) Exchanges
* February 2013 – 99 (FTTC) Exchanges
* July 2013 – 9 (FTTC) Exchanges

UPDATE 4:03pm

In related news the Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has claimed that, thanks to BDUK and BT, the rollout of superfast broadband (FTTC/P) will jump from reaching 10,000 extra premises a week now (here) to 40,000 a week by next summer (this is just the figure for BDUK funded expansion – minus BT’s commercial deployment).

The Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, has said: “The transformation of broadband in rural communities has begun and the coming months will see a rapid acceleration in the number of rural businesses and homes able to access superfast speeds.” Except at present BDUK isn’t really focusing on rural areas, at least not that many.

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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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