BT Begins £1.5bn Fibre Optic Broadband Roll-out

Miracles do happen.

They may have sounded like words of unrealistic hope last week when Ofcom demanded greater fibre optic broadband investment last week but low and behold: British Telecom listened!

Just eight days later the former monopolist has leapt at the challenge announcing a £1.5 billion fibre roll-out programme which it hopes will bring 100Mbit connection speeds to 10 million homes by 2012. Even better, the infrastructure would then secure far easier upgrade paths to the 1Gbit and 10Gbit connections of the future.

“Broadband has boosted the UK economy and is now an essential part of our customers’ lives,” said Ian Livington, BT’s CEO. “We now want to make a step-change in broadband provision which will offer faster speeds than ever before. This marks the beginning of a new chapter in Britain’s broadband story. “This is a bold step by BT and we need others to be just as bold. We are keen to partner with people who share our vision for the next phase of the broadband revolution. We want to work with local and regional bodies to decide where and when we should focus the deployment. Our aim is that urban and rural areas alike will benefit from our investment.”

All terribly positive noises here and it should give the company the platform to hold off rival cable and even WiMAX technologies in years to come – even if the country’s biggest cable proponent, Virgin Media, is set to hit us with a 50Mbit offering before Chrimbo. Expect more details from all parties soon.

After a fairly dormant 18 months it seems the broadband speed race is back on.


”’In related news”’ BT is also prepping a new Home Hub featuring wireless N (802.11n) – about time. Other benefits of the bat wing-esque model include WPA wireless security, a 15-20 per cent power saving on the previous iteration and four Ethernet ports for wired connections. So the Home Hub is now where other products were 18 months ago, which is actually about as close as it’s been…

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