BT to invest £50m to improve fibre broadband coverage in cities
With some 18 million premises in the UK able to order a fibre based service via the Openreach network, many would assume that cities have 100% coverage, but our mailbag proves that there are a good number of areas which are stuck on ADSL2+ in the cities, and not just those close to exchanges with fast speeds either.
BT is throwing a £50m lifeline to some 30 cities as it comes towards the end of its £2.5 billion commercial fibre based broadband roll-out (around another £0.5 billion of investment via the BDUK projects) and this extra money should result in another 400,000 premises being able to order services.
"Our fibre programme is going extremely well with our engineers connecting homes and businesses across the UK. Some city areas have proved challenging in the past but we are returning to those and will pass hundreds of thousands of additional premises with fibre.
We are reaching vast swathes of rural Britain with our public sector partners but we will upgrade these city areas under our own steam. Businesses in cities already have access to ultra-fast speeds but fibre will give them greater choice.
The UK is already ahead of its main European rivals when it comes to fibre, and is set to race ahead thanks to the BDUK plans that are already in progress across the country."Mike Galvin, MD Network Investment at Openreach
The roll-out is going to include cabinets that were missed out for commercial reasons and the changes to the planning rules may allow cabinets previously refused to go ahead. Additionally cabinets are to be deployed to improve broadband speeds for apartment blocks by bringing FTTC closer to them. Finally FTTP will be used on some new build sites in cities.
Once more information is available on which cities will benefit we will publish it.
It is interesting to see that BT is estimating 400,000 premises for the £50m investment, which works out at £125 per premise, the number chases will be sure to work out how this stands in relation to investment in the BDUK projects.
Update 3:45pm We have heard back about Exchange Only areas in the cities and the hope this news was going to benefit EO lines seems to have been dashed, other solutions are being explored for EO. No rough dates for when to expect further detail on the roll-out either.