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By: MarkJ - 27 January, 2012 (6:08 AM)
east london ukbt ukBTOpenreach, which governs access to BT's local and national UK telecoms network, has announced a significant expansion of its superfast 100Mbps fibre optic Fibre-to-the-Premises ( FTTP ) broadband ISP technology pilot in High Rise Buildings (e.g. big city apartment blocks).

At present the pilot, which was first announced in November 2011 (here), only covers a small number of buildings (e.g. West India Quay, Canary Riverside and Port East) in the Isle of Dogs (East London) area.

BT has confirmed that they're now looking for a further 1,000 buildings to take part in the pilot, which must exist within the operators existing FTTP footprint and have the required level of registered demand. Other factors, such as the co-operation of landlords and the economics of deployment, will also play a part.

Mike Galvin, BTOpenreach's Managing Director for Next Generation Access, said:

"We are keen to extend the benefits of our fastest broadband services to those living in apartments. Through our registration scheme customers are clearly showing us they now seek these higher speeds and see the provision of super-fast broadband as a significant benefit. We are factoring customer demand into our future deployment plans but are also keen to partner with landlords and involve them in our plans."

BT claims that its FTTP service, which will soon be upgraded to offer download speeds of 300Mbps (Spring 2012), can provide end users with "the fastest commercially available speeds in the UK for a residential connection". In fairness Hyperoptic can already deliver speeds of 1Gbps to residential connections (here) but its coverage is even smaller and now looks to be under serious pressure from BT's expansion.

The first pilots of BT's high rise FTTP building service are due to begin in March 2012 with the Isle of Dogs apartment blocks. Landlords of similar buildings can register their interest in taking part here, while residents should go here.
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