Around 20 million homes could have access to broadband speeds of up to 20Mbps by the end of 2011, according to BT.
This week BT’s Wholesale division announced it was extending the availability of next generation copper broadband by enabling exchanges serving around 80 per cent of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2011.
The move is a continuation of the provider’s Wholesale’s ADSL2+ copper broadband service, called Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC), which provides access to more than 15.5 million premises from more than 1,000 exchanges. According to BT an additional 30,000 lines are being upgraded each week. BT Wholesale also 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.
In 2009, the Labour government announced plans for everyone to be able to have access to up-to-2Mbps broadband by 2012. However this deadline was extended to 2015 by the Coalition government last July.
The provision of up-to-20Mbps broadband, to 80 per cent of properties, by the end of 2011 is something to be commended, however an Ofcom report published earlier this year revealed the average real speed received by customers on the up-to-20Mbps packages fell between 6.8 and 8.7Mbps.