BT have announced today expansion plans for their 21st century (21C) broadband platform which will see around 80% of homes and businesses have access to 'up to' 20meg broadband by the end of this year. The continued roll-out will be of great benefit to people who are still stuck on old 8meg broadband products and are unlikely to see any form of upgrade to either fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) or fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) in the coming years.
Work by BT Wholesale is progressing steadily with 1017 exchanges now enabled for Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC), the platform used to deliver the 21C broadband network which enables ADSL2+. It's worth remembering that BT are not the only people who are using this technology as many broadband providers who use local-loop unbundling (LLU), such as TalkTalk, O2, and Sky, are deploying this technology. Currently, BT coverage reaches over 15.5 million end users with 2.25 million currently connected and around 30,000 lines are being upgraded each week.
"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."Cameron Rejali, (Managing Director - Products) BT Wholesale
BT still have a lot of work to do if they want to withdraw the old equipment still in use on their network that powers broadband for the final 20% of the country who connect using IPStream. This old ATM equipment currently only offers broadband speeds of up to 8Mbps using standard ADSL, and making the migration away from this should in the long run save BT money through the efficiencies gained of their 21C unified IP network.