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BT - Next Generation 21CN Network in Birmingham Leads the UK

Posted: 28th Jan, 2009 By: MarkJ
BT has revealed that over 77% (574,000) of Birmingham and the Black Country's telephone lines have now been upgraded to deliver its 21st Century Network (21CN) platform. The improvements include support for BT's Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) service, which can deliver 'up to' 24Mbps broadband connections via ADSL2+ technology:

John Dovey, BT’s West Midlands regional director, told The Birmingham Post: “Exceeding 77 per cent technology coverage in the Birmingham area is a major milestone for this exciting, world-leading project.

Most of the foundations are now in place for offering next generation broadband services, but of course it will take time for companies offering those services to introduce products taking full advantage of this major investment. We are working with these companies to move forward as quickly as possible.
”

He said the new network was, “an entirely new broadband service, not simply an improved version of what already exists. Every aspect of the service is new.”

However it's frustrating to see that BT continue to shop their new ADSL2+ (24Mbps) services alongside terms such as "next generation broadband", which can cause confusion. ADSL2+ has in fact been around in the UK for many years via several unbundled ISPs; BT is playing catch-up.

Similarly ADSL2+ is, contrary to BT's statement, technically an improved version of what already exists. We feel that to confuse older ADSL services with true next generation wireless and fibre optic networks is potentially very misleading.

True next generation networks are capable of far faster speeds (50Mbps, 100Mbps, 1000Mbps etc.) and most will use some degree of fibre optic networking. Similarly they will also be able to deliver a greater stability of speed, even for those living further from their local exchange.
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