BT’s 80Mbps fibre broadband service is now available to ten million premises in the UK, with the fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology roll out “months ahead of schedule” according to the telecoms giant.
BT is also set to make fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband available on demand in all fibre-enabled areas from spring 2013 – meaning homes and businesses would benefit from speeds of 300Mbps and above in the future.
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BT believes that a 90 percent fibre footprint would ensure the UK is a European leader in superfast broadband as homes and businesses across the UK would have access to speeds of up to 80Mbps. The current average speed in the UK is 7.6Mbps.
BT has invested £2.5 billion in plans to make fibre broadband available to two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014.
The company claims it has recruited hundreds of extra engineers in the past year to help with the fibre roll-out.
BT suggests that small businesses will benefit from the much faster broadband speeds on offer. This, it claims, has already been shown in Northern Ireland where fibre broadband is available to 89 per cent of homes and businesses due to a partnership between BT and the Department of Trade, Enterprise and Investment.
BT believes it is possible to replicate the success of Northern Ireland in the UK mainland with the help of.
BT is bidding for extra Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds in each region of the UK, and says it is prepared to invest further funds should it win them.
Currently BT is the preferred BDUK supplier in Rutland, has won the bid in Lancashire, and is bidding in other parts of the UK.
BT chief executive Ian Livingston said: “Our engineers have worked tirelessly this past year and BT has made a real commitment to the UK’s infrastructure.
“Rolling out fibre is no easy task and so to have passed ten million premises in such a short time is fantastic. Our roll-out is one of the fastest in the world and our engineers deserve lots of credit.
“The UK is making great progress with fibre broadband. 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. Momentum is building in the market and that can only be good for Broadband Britain.
“We already compare very well to other major European economies and given our plans, the UK can sprint ahead in the future.”