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By: MarkJ - 12 January, 2011 (11:02 AM)
BT UK superfast fibre optic broadband cable rolloutbt ukBT Openreach, which is responsible for ensuring that all rival ISPs have equality of access to BT's local UK network, has revealed the next batch of 41 telephone exchanges (Phase 7 Phase 7a - Part 1) that will be able to receive its superfast 'up to' 40Mbps Fibre-to-the-Cabinet ( FTTC ) based broadband services.

The new list covers upgrades that are expected to be completed in the Spring of 2012 (March 2012). Combined, the new "market towns" / upgrades will help BT FTTC's service to reach an additional 300,000 businesses and consumers on top of those already announced.

Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreach, said:

"We want to extend the fibre footprint and the benefits the technology brings to more rural areas. So we're constantly evolving our deployment model to make sure we can bring the benefits of the technology to the maximum number of people within the scope of our commercial deployment.

The inclusion of 41 market towns in our roll-out plan firmly demonstrates our commitment to finding solutions for local communities. However, in many cases, this will require a collective effort. An infrastructure project on this scale – arguably as important to the future of the UK as the road or rail networks - can only be done in partnership. We’re keen to talk to public and private sector organisations about how this can be achieved.

Many factors are taken into account when making decisions about where to focus our investment, and we're working on ways to give people more of an opportunity to demonstrate where demand for next generation fibre broadband is the greatest."

Today's list will join the 785 exchange locations across the UK that BT has already revealed under its £2.5bn fibre roll-out plan, which aims to reach 66% of premises by 2015. In total the currently announced locations will serve around 8 Million premises, roughly half of BT's fibre roll-out plan.
Previous BT-FTTC/FTTP UK Exchange Rollout Updates
* March 2009 - 29 (FTTC) Commercial Exchange Upgrades
* July 2009 - 69 (FTTC) Commercial Exchange Upgrades
* January 2010 - 63 (FTTC) Commercial Exchange Upgrades
* March 2010 - 303 (FTTC) Commercial Exchange Upgrades
* September 2010 - 159 (FTTC/FTTP) Commercial Exchange Upgrades
BT's Fibre-to-the-Cabinet ( FTTC ) technology delivers a fast fibre optic link to the operators street level cabinets, while the remaining connection (between cabinets and homes) is done using VDSL2 (similar to current ADSL broadband but faster over short distances) through existing copper cable; FTTC will initially deliver speeds of up to 40Mbps (uploads should reach up to 10-15Mbps).
EXCHANGE NAME - Location
ALFRETON - East Midlands - Derbyshire
BALDOCK - East of England - Hertfordshire
BATHGATE - Scotland - Lothian
BILLINGE - North West - Merseyside
BISHOP AUCKLAND - North East - Durham
BLANDFORD - South West - Dorset
DALKEITH - Scotland - Lothian
DARTMOUTH - South West - Devon
DEREHAM - East of England - Norfolk
DEVIZES - South West - Wiltshire
DORKING - South East - Surrey
EDINBURGH MUSSELBURGH - Scotland - Lothian
EPPING - East of England - Essex
FAVERSHAM - South East - Kent
FILEY - Yorkshire and The Humber - North Yorkshire
FRINTON- ON-SEA - East of England - Essex
GREAT DUNMOW - East of England - Essex
HALSTEAD - East of England - Essex
HUNGERFORD - South East - Berkshire
KIDLINGTON - South East - Oxfordshire
KNUTSFORD - North West - Cheshire
MIRFIELD - Yorkshire and The Humber - West Yorkshire
MONTROSE - Scotland - Tayside
MORPETH - North East - Northumberland
NANTWICH - North West - Cheshire
NEWMARKET - East of England - Suffolk
OSWESTRY - West Midlands - Shropshire
PENRITH - North West - Cumbria
PONTYCYMMER - Wales - Mid Glamorgan
RAINFORD - North West - Merseyside
RIPLEY - East Midlands - Derbyshire
ROYSTON, SOUTH YORKSHIRE - Yorkshire and The Humber - South Yorkshire
SANDWICH - South East - Kent
SHEERNESS - South East - Kent
SHERINGHAM - East of England - Norfolk
STOCKSBRIDGE - Yorkshire and The Humber - South Yorkshire
STOURPORT - West Midlands - Hereford & Worcester
WALLINGFORD - South East - Oxfordshire
WENDOVER - South East - Buckinghamshire
WESTBURY - South West - Wiltshire
WIMBORNE - South West - Dorset
BT's new list includes a number of locations, such as Wimborne in Dorset, that many might regard as being very rural villages or towns (i.e. "market towns"). BT claims that it has been able to create a commercial case for rolling out fibre optic based broadband to selected market towns in rural areas where the premises and cabinets are suitably clustered.

Because of the typical topography of market towns BT estimates that a large number of premises in these towns will be able to access fibre-based broadband; it is however likely that a minority will not initially be able to receive services due to a combination of technical and economic reasons. BT claims that it is "very keen to engage in discussions with local council representatives" to see if a solution can be found.

We expect the next batch of exchange upgrades, which are likely to include those selected through the 'BT Race to Infinity' and BTOpenreach fibre nomination scheme, in a few months time.

UPDATE 13th January 2011

Contrary to BT's official press release, which only talked about FTTC coverage, we have just learnt that some of the above exchanges will also carry their 110Mbps capable FTTP service.
FTTP and FTTC Exchanges
* BENTON
* BIRMINGHAM CENTRAL
* ERITH
* FOLESHILL
* GLASGOW LANGSIDE
* HAMILTON
* HOOTON
* MALTBY
* MAYFAIR
* NESTON
* NEWCASTLE CENTRAL
* PONTELAND
* PORTLAND
* RADLETT
* TRAFFORD
* WESTHOUGHTON
We have also adjusted the original article to clarify that this work will take place during March 2012 and corrected the Phase name.

UPDATE 13th January 2011 07:55am

In fact it looks like some of the FTTP exchanges weren't even mentioned in the above announcement and some other FTTC only exchanges are also missing. We're currently trying to get to the bottom of this as the full list is more than twice the size.

UPDATE 18th January 2011

Another batch of 42 exchanges has been released, which is effectively part 2 of the above upgrades list and includes the FTTP supporting locations too - HERE.
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