UK TELECOM BT revealed today that its wholesale fibre broadband service is now available to 10 million premises across the country.
The communications company claimed that it has reached this fibre penetration level "several months ahead of schedule", as its target to reach 10 million premises was originally set to be the end of 2012.
According to BT, it will be possible to replicate the rapid fibre rollouts already seen in Northern Ireland across the UK mainland with the help of Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds. The company is bidding for these funds in every region of the UK. It has already been chosen as the preferred BDUK supplier in Rutland, has won the bid in Lancashire and is bidding in other parts of the UK.
BT CEO Ian Livingston claimed that the fibre rollout in the UK is one of the fastest in the world. "Our engineers have worked tirelessly this past year and BT has made a real commitment to the UK's infrastructure," Livingston said. "Rolling out fibre is no easy task and so to have passed ten million premises in such a short time is fantastic."
He went on to argue that the UK is making "great progress" with fibre broadband, saying, "There are more than half a million customers already using the service and more than 60 ISPs trialling or offering services. This is a significant achievement given we only began selling services a couple of years ago."
Despite BT's boasts, as our sister IT news web site V3 reports, BT's chief competitor remains ahead, with Virgin Media having announced that it passed a milestone of 10 million homes having access to 100Mbit/s earlier in February, nearly three months before BT.
BT said it is shelling out £2.5bn to make fibre broadband available to around two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014. According to the company's estimates, a 90 per cent fibre footprint will mean that homes and businesses across the UK will have access to speeds of up to 80Mbit/s.
The telecom added that it is set to make fibre-to-the-premises broadband available on demand in all fibre enabled areas from Spring 2013, thereby offering speeds of 300Mbit/s and higher. µ
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