BT to accelerate super-fast fibre rollout

10 Jul 2009

BT has revealed that over 1.5 million homes in the UK and Northern Ireland will have super-fast fibre broadband by early summer 2010. BT is investing over £1.5bn sterling in its next-generation network (NGN) rollout.

The company today unveiled the locations where it will make the new infrastructure available.

The new locations cover more than a million homes and businesses across the UK.

The acceleration of BT’s plans will see 1.5 million homes have access to such services by early summer 2010.

A million of those homes will have access by March, which is a doubling of the original pace of deployment.

The plan is the first chapter in BT’s longer-term programme to make super-fast fibre broadband available to 40pc of the UK – or some 10 million homes – by 2012.

The company has pledged to spend £1.5bn sterling – the UK’s biggest single commercial investment in fibre broadband – on this programme.

BT will offer access to service providers on an open, wholesale basis thereby supporting a competitive market.

“Fibre is the future and so we’re speeding up the pace of our plans,” explained Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreach, the division of BT responsible for the rollout.

“We had aimed to get fibre to half a million homes by next March, but we’re now being far more ambitious. We’ve received a tremendous response to date and so we’re keen to get on with the job.

“BT has invested billions in creating Broadband Britain, yet it has done so whilst offering others equal access to its network – demonstrating once again that competition doesn’t have to be a barrier to investment.” 

Sixy nine locations across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will benefit from this latest phase of BT’s investment programme.

The pilots of the technology went live this week in Muswell Hill, London and Whitchurch, South Wales. Sixteen service providers are participating in the pilots.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years