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BT to extend next generation copper broadband to around 80 per cent of the UK


Around 20 million premises to have access by end of 2011

BT Wholesale today announced its intent to extend the availability of next generation copper broadband - offering customers speeds of up to 20Mbps* - by enabling exchanges serving around 80 per cent of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2011.

BT Wholesale’s ADSL2+ copper broadband service, called Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC), is now available from more than 1,000 exchanges* – serving more than 15.5 million end user premises. Already more than 2.25 million end users are enjoying this advanced copper service and BT is upgrading c. 30,000 additional lines per week.

In addition, BT Wholesale today announced it has reached 1,000 live fibre Ethernet nodes in the UK. It has the largest customer-ready copper and fibre delivered network of Ethernet in the UK market, with plans to reach 1,090 fibre nodes by the end of 2011.

Cameron Rejali, Managing Director, Products, BT Wholesale, said: “This announcement is further evidence of BT’s commitment to deliver next generation services across the UK.

“Running over BT’s 21st Century Network, WBC offers communications providers the ability to provide their broadband customers with greater control, choice and flexibility as well as higher speeds. It supports the growing demand for high-speed broadband access to a range of online services – including TV, gaming online and multiple voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services.

“BT’s Ethernet deployment has advanced from an early adopter to a mainstream purchase for businesses looking for a cheaper, faster and more versatile single platform solution for their wide area networking or local area networking needs,” added Rejali.

WBC forms part of the UK broadband ‘mixed economy’, where businesses and households are increasingly able to choose the broadband service that suits their needs best, whether delivered over copper, fibre or mobile. BT Wholesale’s broadband portfolio also includes an up to 8Mbps service serving more than 99 per cent of UK homes and businesses.

In addition to advanced copper broadband services, BT Wholesale also offers an enhanced WBC fibre broadband service. BT’s £2.5bn investment to roll out fibre broadband to two thirds of the UK by the end of 2015 continues with the up to 40Mbps service now available to more than 4 million homes and businesses.

Customer trials of Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) technology – offering speeds of up to 100Mbps - are underway including the Bradwell Abbey exchange in Milton Keynes with FTTP in reach of some 11,000 end users in this exchange area. Today some 30 BT Wholesale ISP customers are taking BT’s fibre services (FTTC and/or trialling FTTP).

Notes to Editors:
*Total number of WBC enabled exchanges is 1017.
** According to Ofcom’s UK fixed broadband speeds report (March, 2011), the average download speed received for ‘up to’ 20/24 Mbps DSL packages was 6.2 Mbps.


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