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BT adds 1.2 million homes to fibre rollout plans

Will be complete by spring 2014
Wed Feb 13 2013, 10:30

UK INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER (ISP) BT has announced that it will add another 1.2 million homes to its fibre network by spring next year, with 99 exchanges set to be upgraded.

The plans form part of its overall £2.5bn campaign to get two-thirds of the country onto its network with high-speed services of 80Mbit/s or above.

The main areas that will be targeted in this rollout include Scotland, the Midlands, the North East and North West of England, BT said, with exchanges in Redcar, Grimsby and Carnousite just some of the areas set for an upgrade.

BT said some premises within the selected areas won't be able to receive fibre connections from the off but added that it will work to achieve this using alternative methods, although it didn't elaborate on what these will be.

BT Openreach MD Mike Galvin said the work underlined the firm's commitment to get as many premises online with faster services to boost the nation.

"I am sure that communities across the UK will be pleased to see that they are factored into our commercial plans and I now look forward to working with councils to identify further areas that we can enable with their support," he said.

"Our engineers are working round the clock to hit our ambitious target of reaching two-thirds of UK premises with fibre during Spring 2014 - at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable."

The announcement from BT comes a week after the announcement that US media and telecoms giant Liberty Global will buy Virgin Media for £23bn in a move that could bring renewed competition to the UK market.

BT appears safe in the government sphere, though, as it continues to win contracts from local authorities under the Broadband Delivery UK framework. µ


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