BT says that it plans to pass an additional 1.2 million premises in the upcoming phase of its fiber-optic broadband network deployment. When the phase is completed, BT says its fiber-optic network footprint will encompass approximately 19 million premises.
The new deployment phase will see Openreach, BT’s local network deployment arm, upgrade 99 new exchanges by Spring 2014. The targeted exchanges serve approximately 600,000 premises, mostly in Scotland, the Midlands, the North East, and North West of England. Openreach will reach another 600,000 premises in BT’s existing footprint with new fiber-optic cable infrastructure as well.
BT says that it has identified 1,700 exchange areas across the UK that will make up the majority of its commercial fiber footprint. It plans to reach additional exchanges with the help of the British Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) program.
Said Mike Galvin, managing director, NGA at Openreach, “Our fiber deployment continues to gather pace. Our engineers are working round the clock to hit our ambitious target of reaching two-thirds of UK premises with fiber during Spring 2014 – at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable. The work doesn’t stop there, however, as we are also helping to roll out fiber to other parts of the country working in partnership with local authorities as part of the BDUK activity.”
The fiber-based broadband network comprises both fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) and fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technologies. BT did not reveal how it will split the upcoming deployments between the two technologies. However, it noted that this spring, Openreach will begin to make FTTP commercially available on demand in areas where it has deployed FTTC.