Scotland gets broadband boost as BT extends fibre
By Stewart Mitchell
Posted on 12 Dec 2011 at 09:06
Scotland is set for a broadband boost after BT announced plans to push fibre further into its network.
The move would be the biggest superfast broadband push north of the border and takes a mixture of fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-to-the-home to 277,000 homes and businesses.
The upgrade is expected to enable 34 exchanges in areas including Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, while smaller towns will also benefit, the company said.
More exchanges in England and Wales will also be connected with a total of 178 additional exchanges added to BT's fibre list, as part of its existing £2.5 billion investment into infrastructure upgrades. The exchange upgrades are largely scheduled to be completed by the end of next year, covering a total of 1.8 million homes.
It is important that as many premises as possible have access to fibre
“It marks a major investment in infrastructure, which will give the country a tremendous boost,” BT Scotland director Brendan Dick said, according to The Scotsman.
BT said that once these and previously announced exchanges have been upgraded, its Openreach arm will have completed around 80% of its commercial fibre rollout, which is expected to cover two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014.
The ISP said it expected to pass the 40% of homes connected mark by the end of next year but admitted that “due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that a small minority of premises within the selected exchange areas will not initially be able to be served by fibre-based broadband”.
As PC Pro reported earlier this year, the company is skipping some cabinets even if local exchanges are enabled.
Olivia Garfield, CEO of Openreach, said BT's superfast network covers more than six million premises at the moment, and will reach ten million next year, but suggested filling in the gaps could require funding from the Government's broadband body.
“We will make fibre available to two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014 and we want to go even further," she said. "It is important that as many premises as possible have access to fibre and so we will bid for the Broadband Delivery UK funds that are available. “
Openreach said it believed £530 million in government funds announced last year should see fibre carried to more than 90% of premises within six years.
Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow... all the places that already have high speed Virgin cable then?
Can't we go back to a monopoly provider who is required to provide everyone with a service, rather than having two providers offering a service to some of the population, and no one offering a service to the rest?
By TheLifeOfBri on 12 Dec 2011
By qpw3141 on 12 Dec 2011
Enough with the exchanges!
Why does BT keep going on about exchanges? Laying the fibre from the exchanges to the street cabinet or the customer premises is the hard part, both physically and economically. Constantly talking about exchanges just makes me suspicious that they are counting "job done" for an entire exchange catchment area as soon as the exchange is done.
They should simply report the percentage of premises for which they can provide fibre broadband now, and the target for that number going forward. And they should be able to give a date for an individual premises within, say, a quarter year.
By JohnAHind on 12 Dec 2011
If BT claim an exchange is enabled then the "headline" makes it look like all of the users of that exchange have FTTC available. This is a LIE!
What BT should publish is the proportion of lines in the enabled exchange that can use the facility.
As I have mentioned often, our ecxhange was one of the first wave of "enabled" exchanges and that was over a year ago. But (my guess) is that something likely less than 50% of the available lines have been enabled. But those of us who live where the population density is lower don't get a look in.
And the ridiculous part is that the urban dwellers are already well served with ADSL2 or Vigin. It is us in the sticks that would bite BT's hand off if only the service was on offer.
By jontym123 on 12 Dec 2011
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