We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

BT to upgrade a further 2.5 million premises to copper broadband

By 2013, 90% of UK will get access to 'up to' 20Mbps services

BT is to upgrade a further 2.5 million premises in the UK to support its copper-based broadband service that offers 'up to' 20Mbps.

The Telecommunications company says that by spring 2013, 90 percent of the UK will be able to access the service, which is an increase on its original target of some 20 million premises, or around 80 percent of the country.

Some 800 exchanges will be upgraded to enable this roll-out, with half of them being located in rural areas that serve around 90,000 premises in total.

"This is a significant expansion of our roll-out plan and is further proof of our commitment to serve rural areas. The faster speeds will support the government's aim of enhancing broadband speeds for both town and countryside," said Alex Pannell, director of product management at BT Wholesale.

President of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) William Worsley said BT's announcement would provide "economic power" to rural Britain.

"The necessary copper upgrade of exchanges to provide access of at least 2Mbps will give economic power to rural areas. However, we are still concerned that at least 10 percent of rural areas may never have access to fixed line broadband and this is where the government's promised funding for rural broadband should be targeted," he said.

"Too many areas across the UK have very limited access to mobile telephony. Extending better mobile phone coverage to rural areas is as important as ensuring effective broadband for businesses to compete fairly with their urban counterparts and to prevent communities from being socially disadvantaged."

BT's announcement comes just a week after BT was forced by Ofcom to drop the price it charges ISPs to use its network to offer broadband in rural areas, in a bid to improve services in these areas.

IDG UK Sites

Samsung Galaxy S6 launch as it happened: Galaxy S6 launch video and live blog - watch again as...

IDG UK Sites

5 things we hate about MWC: What it's like to be a journalist at a technology trade show

IDG UK Sites

Interview: Lauren Currie aims to help design students bridge skills gap

IDG UK Sites

12in Retina MacBook Air release date rumours: new MacBook Air to have fingerprint ID, could launch...