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BT announce 41 market towns to benefit from super-fast broadband
Wednesday 12 January 2011 12:24:58 by John Hunt

A further 41 market towns have been announced today to receive access to BT's next-generation fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband service which will deliver broadband speeds of up to 40Mbps from Spring 2012. This will enable a further 300,000 homes and businesses to get online using this new faster technology from BT.

Topography of market towns means that not everyone in an area will get access to the new technology due to economic or technical reasons, but Openreach is keen to engage with local council to see if an agreement can be made to avoid exclusions.

"We want to extend the fibre footprint and the benefits the technology brings to more rural areas. So we're constantly evolving our deployment model to make sure we can bring the benefits of the technology to the maximum number of people within the scope of our commercial deployment. The inclusion of 41 market towns in our roll-out plan firmly demonstrates our commitment to finding solutions for local communities. However, in many cases, this will require a collective effort. An infrastructure project on this scale – arguably as important to the future of the UK as the road or rail networks - can only be done in partnership. We're keen to talk to public and private sector organisations about how this can be achieved.

Many factors are taken into account when making decisions about where to focus our investment, and we're working on ways to give people more of an opportunity to demonstrate where demand for next generation fibre broadband is the greatest."

Steve Robertson, (CEO) Openreach

The list of exchanges which will be enabled under this expanded roll out is as below. The 41 today join the 785 previously announced pushing the total to receive faster broadband to 826. This equates to around 8 million premises, or around half of BT's planned fibre-rollout plan. The company hope to reaching 66% of the country through its £2.5 billion investment.

Exchange Name RDA County
ALFRETON East Midlands Derbyshire
BALDOCK East of England Hertfordshire
BATHGATE Scotland Lothian
BILLINGE North West Merseyside
BLANDFORD South West Dorset
DALKEITH Scotland Lothian
DARTMOUTH South West Devon
DEREHAM East of England Norfolk
DEVIZES South West Wiltshire
DORKING South East Surrey
EPPING East of England Essex
FAVERSHAM South East Kent
FILEY Yorkshire and The Humber North Yorkshire
FRINTON- ON-SEA East of England Essex
GREAT DUNMOW East of England Essex
HALSTEAD East of England Essex
HUNGERFORD South East Berkshire
KIDLINGTON South East Oxfordshire
KNUTSFORD North West Cheshire
MIRFIELD Yorkshire and The Humber West Yorkshire
MONTROSE Scotland Tayside
MORPETH North East Northumberland
NANTWICH North West Cheshire
NEWMARKET East of England Suffolk
OSWESTRY West Midlands Shropshire
PENRITH North West Cumbria
PONTYCYMMER Wales Mid Glamorgan
RAINFORD North West Merseyside
RIPLEY East Midlands Derbyshire
ROYSTON, SOUTH YORKSHIRE Yorkshire and The Humber South Yorkshire
SANDWICH South East Kent
SHEERNESS South East Kent
SHERINGHAM East of England Norfolk
STOCKSBRIDGE Yorkshire and The Humber South Yorkshire
STOURPORT West Midlands Hereford & Worcester
WALLINGFORD South East Oxfordshire
WENDOVER South East Buckinghamshire
WESTBURY South West Wiltshire
WIMBORNE South West Dorset


Posted by welshwarrior over 6 years ago
Surprise, surprise just one Welsh Exchange and tiny one at that - less than 3000 lines!
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Definite progress in areas which for the most part have no options for services above ADSL2+.
Posted by amphion over 6 years ago
I'd take the "from Spring 2012" with a pinch of salt. BT have already slipped by six months on enabling some of the current round of exchanges marked for FTTC.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Yeah I don't understand the Welsh angle and never have. My parents live in Llandudno and I know for a fact that there's some fibre running alongside the A55 and surely no good reason why more can't be laid. Despite that the bigger towns along the North Wales coast only got LLU last year.

Hill farmers and those living in villages are difficult to serve but I fail to see why the entire coastal population is being left so far behind.
Posted by welshwarrior over 6 years ago

I totally agree. We always seem to be left behind in Wales. We have fibre going round our town which is provided by the County Council for the Libraries/Schools etc but BT don't seem interested. We have around 6000 lines in our town plus the Business ones and the population swells to abour 65,000 in Summer
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
This is Phase 7a Part 1 which implies a Part 2 and a 7b...
Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago

Many exchanges are bigger than that, mine is three times the size. BT don't put FTTC in based on population size however, depends if they have enough room left in the building or not enough interest. Many schools have fibre links, but they also pay for that privilage too!
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
@welshwarrior - Just because there is fibre around the town it does not mean you can just tap into it, it does not work like that.

If you want fibre I could get you pricing in minutes, BT Net is available throughout most of the country and is probably what the schools etc are using, maybe connected via an MPLS network too.
Posted by djay over 6 years ago
Great thanks bt you put Penrith in cumbria on there to be upgraded by 2012 when the town is tiny and most receive a full 8meg or better connections, yet you have not upgraded Carlisle the city which most of us are on shambolic 3mb it connections nice....

And yes I know we are supposed to get some digital hub thing but I am also sure it'll be terrible judging by the quality of thugs chosen by mp's and councillors we have here.

So maybe we get a digital hub in the next 1-2 years all being well and a small Tory town gets it by 2012 at the latest.
Posted by djay over 6 years ago
Ps bad spelling due to fat fingers and an iPhone :)
Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago

Schools and libraries and other educational/research institutions use a network called JANET. A 40gbps network that supplies connectivity and PoP throughout the UK. has its own website too -
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
Personally, i think it's quite good that BT is doing a fair number of small line exchanges. It would be very easy for them to simply say "economics" to ignore them.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
I think this is the private fibre that runs alongside the A55:

The initial blurb makes you wonder what the problem is.

But maybe this explains the problem:

"Initially services are available to business customers only, however as the network develops we expect to be able to serve other customers via a range of technologies."
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Perhaps the service isn't getting enough interest to help it grow whilst at the same time is big enough to be making NW look unattractive to BT?
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
@djay. My brother lives in Carlisle (not far from the socking great transmitter antenna) and he has a 16Mb ADSL2+ connection courtesy of Be. At a rough guess I'd say most of Carlisle must have access to at least 8Mb/s.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
Newmarket is another oddity - it got ADSL 6 months after our local village exchange due to lack of demand on the tracker, yet it gets towards the front of the FTTC queue.
Posted by djay over 6 years ago
Andruec, we have upto 24mbit available allthough as with most things if you don't live in the centre of the city then your connections is going to be crap and I live on the edge of the city with a 3.6pm line and 60db noise rating at 3.6mbit so yeah 24mbit if you can get it.
Posted by timmay over 6 years ago
So far not a single market 1 exchange in Kent. I think that will be the pattern going forward for a long time yet.
Posted by keith969 over 6 years ago
I'm sure this list includes some that were on a previous BT list several months ago - Wallingford for example.
Posted by adslmax over 6 years ago
Again, BT are ingorned Shropshire in Telford again! I hate u damn u BT
Posted by tim_semken over 6 years ago
Great. One further exchange in England's biggest county - North Yorkshire. Why Filey? Was told by an Openreach engineer that he had heard that Ripon and Northallerton would be getting it next...
Posted by bbfiley over 6 years ago
Because we in Filey deserve something for a change instead of being at the back of the pile like usual! And a few hundred new homes are to be built in the local area in the next year or so, it makes sense to deploy fibre rather than copper and have to take it out again shortly after.
Posted by tim_semken over 6 years ago
@bbfiley - look at the latest openreach list, it states FTTC, not FTTC/P. So it will be copper installed anyway, along with the standard 1gig backhaul per cabinet.

Bet Scarborough will be pissed off - do they have cable though? Not sure. We in Ripon haven't even got 21CN yet and it's a 'city' of 10000 people!
Posted by evilpie1992 over 6 years ago
Oswestry!!!! Whoop Whooop!!! Finally we don't even have adsl2+ yet haha
Posted by chris6273 over 6 years ago
Only 4 in the South West!? BT are starting to take the micky here a bit. There is an exchange near me with around 20,000 lines and they are simply overlooking it!? Blimey, I doubt us countryside folk will be seeing it for a while bearing in mind BT have selfishly halted their ADSL2+ rollout!
Posted by chris6273 over 6 years ago
I meant 5 but thats still silly!
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
Well thank you BT. What a nice way of making sure that the independents like VTesse and Rutland Telecom won't stand much chance in these areas.

The A55 fibre mentioned is the basis for a WiMax deployment on Anglesey due to go live in 2010. Maybe it is available indirectly for non-business use? Supplier? One better known for fibre PR than end user fibre rollout:
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
Filey :4272 Properties
Bridlington 19 miles away: 18,000 but yet we aint on the the list, but we will be getting 50Mbps soon :)
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
10 miles away***
Posted by tim_semken over 6 years ago
@Legolash - whats happening in Bridlington?
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
LN Comms and another company are coming to Bridlington to provide 50down/50up broadband, also supports 150down/150up and will be using IPv6.

5/5Mbps is around £10
10/10 is around £15
50down/50up is around £20
Can't remember that exact prices, why you ask?
Posted by NetGuy over 6 years ago
@AndrueC - thanks for links. Shame I cannot move to live on the Technology Park...

re priorities - seems to me BT has chosen places (in the past at least) where they will (A) lose customers to Sky / O2 / Be / Virgin and (B) where customers may be 'better off'.
Posted by NetGuy over 6 years ago
Bagshot, Surrey and Middlewich, Cheshire, were both listed getting fibre yet here I am on the outskirts of Wrexham, N Wales, where Wrexham North exchange has more lines (~ 10,000) than either Bagshot or Middlewich (7,000 to 8,000 from memory) and Wrexham itself with a University and significant population has another 20,000+ lines but no date for FTTC.

Mind you, Sky only installed in second half of 2010 in Wrexham, so you can see we have been left behind.

Maybe I should move to Mold (Be offer 24 Mbps) rather than wait for FTTC here.
Posted by BB4FABS over 6 years ago
Average voting percentage for all 2,495 exchanges in BT’s recent Race to Infinity customer demand survey was 2.03%.

Average for the 41 exchanges announced for upgrade yesterday (12th Jan 2011) was 2.01%.

So, it appears that BT has taken absolutely no notice of its own customer survey!
Posted by BB4FABS over 6 years ago
Of the 41 exchanges announced, none met the qualifying level of 1,000 votes in BT’s survey.

The highest finisher of the 41 is Wallingford in 345th place (7.07%).

14 of the 41 exchanges being upgraded polled fewer than 100 votes, with Billinge managing just 15 votes from 3,365 possible.
Posted by BB4FABS over 6 years ago
BT Race to Infinity Final Result (all 2,495 exchanges):

BT Race to Infinity Final Result (41 exchanges announced for upgrade on 21st Jan 2011):
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
This is Phase 7a Part 1 which implies a Part 2 and a 7b...
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
@BB4eFABS - BT Retail Survey to get 5 exchanges upgraded as per the offer which Ofcom approved for Openreach to put out.

These have been announced/decided by Openreach, not BT Retail.

You are aware any other ISP can decide on 5 exchanges for Openreach to upgrade? As far as I am aware, none have as of yet. But you still shout at pretty much the only company spending big bucks to help...
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
"the only company spending big bucks to help... "

Which bit of "a collective effort ... only be done in partnership ... public and private sector organisations" didn't you understand? They're looking to make sure that if other people are investing, it comes to BT not the independents.

Billinge ? Rainford? "Market towns"? Not really.
Posted by CudworthExchange over 6 years ago
Filey? Given the average age of its residents is 87 and the place has under 4000 lines you can only presume the new Tesco has something to do with it, every little helps.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
as I posted on the forums, this is all PR, as the list is a joke. BT seem to be on a mission to try and please the countryside brigade at the moment. Large towns and cities are been left out, baffling.
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
@CudworthExchange, it is known for Tesco to "bribe" the planning authorities to allow their store to be built in exchange for something else, example.... Tesco Police Station lmao...
Posted by Hubz over 6 years ago
How come Frinton-on-Sea gets FTTC and the larger Market Town of Woodbridge still doesnt nor Ipswich for that matter!?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
Until all exchanges are done, (and not all exchanges have ADSL yet) then there will always be why not my exchange questions.
Posted by Hubz over 6 years ago
I know, I work at BT and designed FTTx for Openreach and ran trials in Ipswich for BT employees for the last 5 years, but still general public in the area cant get it !
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
andrew it is a bit more then why not my exchange tho. This FTTx rollout raises a lot of questions as to if any political influence as well as to why they picking so many low populated areas in the middle of farm land.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
There are still exchanges that were listed as potential sites for the FTTC pilot(Christchurch, Cowley, Paignton and Wallsend), which have not been listed for upgrade yet. Even though one would think that these exhanges would have been selected for the trial as ideal candidates.
Posted by bbfiley over 6 years ago
@ Legolash, Alll we got in Filey was a refurbed Toilet Block at the bus station, that is all. We have no 21CN and only got LLU by Talktalk a little while ago. Put ur sour grapes away people, your turn will come! and as for @Cudworth, your only jealous that Filey is a nice seaside town and Barnsley is an armpit!
Posted by 2doorsbob over 6 years ago
nice to see 2 more exchanges in yorkshire but again only small's a shame bt wont duct share with digital region or even get in bed with them must be cheaper than rolling out yourself
Posted by Aqualung over 6 years ago
I gave up giving credence to BT's roll out dates when my 21cn date became 2 years late and then subsequently disappeared from view.I hope for the people in these areas sake they are not being led up the garden path as many others have an go out and prematurely buy equipment based on their assertions.
Posted by petesilver over 6 years ago
I think we must be in the backwoods I see there is NO exchanges in Devon.
BT make me sick....
Posted by missgain over 6 years ago
People in North Wales might like to check out what AB Internet are doing, based on the Fibrespeed network. They are setting up wide-area point-to-multipoint wireless networks to domestic and business customers. A roll-out is just starting with coverage in the whole of the Vale of Clwyd, using the St Asaph node of Fibrespeed. Out broadband campaign group at Graigfechan, near Ruthin, will benefit from this, and we expect go from notspots/slowspots to 4Mbps-spots.
Posted by CudworthExchange over 6 years ago
@bbfiley as i spend over a month a year in Filey so i know exactly what the place it like. I love it and would one day like to call it home, however ignorant people like you just show that even my favourite place on the planet has its tossers, just like the armpit you are so fond of.
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