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By: MarkJ - 14 June, 2011 (9:05 AM)
BT UK superfast fibre optic broadband cable rolloutbt openreach logoBT Openreach, which seeks to ensure that all communication providers (ISPs) are given equality of access to the national operators local UK network, has revealed the next batch of 66 telephone exchange upgrades for its superfast 'up to' 40Mbps Fibre-to-the-Cabinet ( FTTC ) and 110Mbps Fibre-to-the-Premises ( FTTP ) based internet access technologies.

The new list, if taken by itself, would cover almost one million additional homes and businesses. The majority will be enabled next year (2012), with others going live by the end of 2011. BT has also confirmed that its new superfast broadband services will officially be able to reach 5 million premises by the end of June 2011.

Liv Garfield, CEO for BTOpenreach, said:

"Being able to bring faster broadband speeds within reach of more than five million premises is a significant milestone and we are well on our way to passing 10 million in 2012 and two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015. This is the largest single commercial investment in fibre-based broadband infrastructure ever undertaken in the UK and is one of the biggest civil engineering projects running in the country at this time.

We also welcome the government’s recent pledge to free up a further £50m of BDUK funds to stimulate investment in rural broadband networks in Wiltshire, Norfolk, Devon and Somerset. We have made a clear commitment to rolling out fibre to two-thirds of the UK, but we’re keen to go further by working with public sector bodies.

There will be competition for these funds but we believe that BT is well-placed to compete, given our experience in rolling out networks that are both open to others and sustainable. These are important factors if local consumers and businesses are to benefit from competition and the resulting low prices.

The final ten per cent of the UK is going to be the hardest to reach with fixed line super-fast broadband and so we are busy trialling other technologies. One of these is based on white space and I’m glad to say the initial results are very encouraging. It’s early days but our hope is that this technology may provide an effective solution for ‘not spots’ and ‘slow spots’”.

In addition the operator has also revealed details of a new wireless broadband trial on the Isle of Bute, which apparently makes use of "white space" technology. Related services use Ultra High Frequency (UHF) spectrum, such as those that exist between TV channels, and can thus travel further and more easily through walls.

White space technology is being seen as one potential solution to the growing congestion in Wi-Fi networks (2.4GHz) and could also be used to extend Mobile Broadband coverage. BT's trial focuses on "Not Spot" homes or those that can only receive sub-2Mbps speeds. It is being conducted by a consortium that also includes the University of Strathclyde, BBC Research and Development, Steepest Ascent, Berg Design and Netpropagate.

Apparently the initial results "have been very promising," although more work is needed and thus a further live trial is expected to take place in July 2011 (including approximately a dozen end users across the island). The wireless service itself is linked back to BT's Kilchattan Bay exchange, which connects to the mainland via a dedicated radio link. As for the new FTTC exchange upgrades (all are FTTC-only unless otherwise marked with FTTP/C)..
BT TELEPHONE EXCHANGE
INVERKEITHING
ABERDEEN ASHGROVE
ABERDEEN DENBURN
NAIRN
CUMBERNAULD
GLASGOW SCOTSTOUN
SELLY OAK
SUTTON COLDFIELD
BURTON UPON TRENT
LANGLEY MILL
BRISTOL SOUTH
STROUD
ABERDARE
STAFFORD
EUSTON *FTTP/C*
HOLBORN *FTTP/C*
KINGS CROSS *FTTP/C*
EDGBASTON
ERDINGTON
TILE HILL *FTTP/C*
NORWICH
DERBY
WILLOWCROFT
MORECAMBE
CHILDWALL
CRESSINGTON PARK
SEFTON PARK
STONEYCROFT
WATERLOO
BROUGHTON, GREATER MANCHESTER
DROYLSDEN *FTTP/C*
RADCLIFFE *FTTP/C*
WOODLEY, GREATER MANCHESTER
BRIDLINGTON
BRIGHOUSE
CLECKHEATON
HAREHILLS
HORSFORTH
MELROSEGATE
SKIPTON
FOLKESTONE
HASTINGS
WESTGATE *FTTP/C*
NEWCASTLE WEST
EASTBOURNE
BRIGHTON KEMPTOWN
ADWICK LE STREET
ARMTHORPE *FTTP/C*
DONCASTER
DONCASTER NORTH
GREENHILL
INTAKE
LINCOLN
ROSSINGTON
WOODSEATS *FTTP/C*
WORKSOP
COWLEY
EASTON
BRISTOL REDCLIFFE *FTTP/C*
BOURNEMOUTH *FTTP/C*
SOUTHBOURNE
WINTON
WESTBOURNE *FTTP/C*
LEEK
BRIDGWATER
WELLINGTON
BT is spending £2.5bn on its national UK deployment of fibre optic broadband services, which should cover 66% of homes and businesses by 2015 (40% in 2012). A number of UK ISPs are currently offering superfast FTTC based broadband services, although BT-Infinity and PlusNet are two of the cheapest with prices that start from just £16.49 a month.
Previous BT-FTTC/FTTP UK Exchange Rollout 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
UPDATE 12:16pm

It's worth pointing out that BT has moved away from its "phased" approach to the rollout. The operator told ISPreview.co.uk that where they have spare manpower/capacity they will bring exchanges forward, where there isn’t the resource they will move them back and "thus keeping the overall momentum of the programme up".

In addition we also note that BT has listed Bournemouth as one of the city's that can now expect to receive the operator's true fibre optic FTTP (110Mbps) solution. Some will no doubt speculate as to whether or not that would have happened so soon had CityFibre Holdings not re-started work on their own FTTH network there.
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