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We have all seen the bad press regarding BT’s roll-out of FTTC. But are BT now reacting to this growing pressure to deliver the service?

Openreach announce further 66 exchanges for fibre broadband
Tuesday 14 June 2011 11:19:26 by John Hunt

BT Openreach have announced 66 further exchanges to be upgraded with fibre-based broadband today which include different areas of the country. This will cover nearly one million new homes and businesses, the majority of which will go live next year, but some are to be enabled by the end of 2011. Those who sign up will have access to speeds of up-to 40meg downstream and 10meg upstream through fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology.

Openreach will also be conducting a new trial into using ‘white space’ spectrum for wireless broadband access technology on the Isle of Bute. White space is the set of frequencies that is available between UHF TV channels and is left available to avoid interference occurring. It can be used to deliver high speed broadband, dubbed ‘super Wi-Fi’ by the US telecommunications regulator, the FCC. Openreach will use the trial to see if the technology is viable for providing access where people live in broadband not-spots or slow spots.

“Being able to bring faster broadband speeds within reach of more than five million premises is a significant milestone and we are well on our way to passing 10 million in 2012 and two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015. This is the largest single commercial investment in fibre-based broadband infrastructure ever undertaken in the UK and is one of the biggest civil engineering projects running in the country at this time..

The final ten per cent of the UK is going to be the hardest to reach with fixed line super-fast broadband and so we are busy trialling other technologies. One of these is based on white space and I’m glad to say the initial results are very encouraging. It’s early days but our hope is that this technology may provide an effective solution for ‘not spots’ and ‘slow spots’.”

Liv Garfield, (CEO) Openreach

BT also released some statistics for the new fibre network they are deploying which will see over 30,000 cabinets installed, with 200,000 distribution points, 1,000 exchanges enabled and over 50,000km of fibre optic cable

The 66 new exchanges are as bellow. The majority of exchanges will be fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) whilst a few will see a mix of FTTC and fibre-to-the-premesis (FTTP) and are listed as FTTC/P.