BT to double reach of new FTTP network

UK incumbent telco BT has revealed that it plans to more than double the footprint of the new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network it is preparing to build, and will now deliver FTTP connections to around 2.5mn UK homes and businesses, compared to previous expectations of 1mn homes and businesses.

The new network will be capable of delivering speeds of up to 100 Mbps, with the capacity to deliver far greater speeds of up to 1 Gbps in the future should there be demand. BT had previously planned to only offer FTTP connections in new build areas, but stated that it now plans to deploy FTTP in some areas where copper services are already available.

BT still plans to offer fibre-based connections to around 10mn UK homes and businesses by 2012, with the remaining homes to receive Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) connections, which will deliver speeds of up to 40 Mbps. The telco reports that it has been making "good progress" with all aspects of its fibre programme and is commercially ahead of target, which has allowed the expansion of FTTP availability to be contained within its overall investment of GB£ 1.5bn (US$ 2.4bn).

“This development shows that we are determined to bring world-leading broadband speeds to UK homes and businesses," said Steve Robertson, CEO of BT Openreach. "Service providers have asked us for more FTTP and so we have listened to them. The UK already leads the world when it comes to broadband availability and today’s announcement will help the UK climb the speed league tables as well. The UK is well placed but we need to invest for the future so that customers can access the rich applications that will be popular in a few years time.”

BT also confirmed that the roll-out of fibre services has already begun, and that 1.5mn homes will have access to these services by next summer.