The battle to cable up Britain is hotting up. BT has announced that it is upgrading 303 exchanges to accommodate super-fast fibre technology.
The news comes less than a month after Virgin Media announced that its 100Mbps broadband service would be available throughout the UK,
According to BT, the exchanges, which will serve four million customer lines, will be upgraded to super-fast broadband between autumn 2010 and summer 2011. BT is also tackling the most affluent areas of the country first - about 200 of the exchanges to be upgraded are in London and the south-east. The company has said that the technology will also be available to other broadband providers on a wholesale basis.
Earlier this year, the company unveiled BT Infinity, its 40Mbps service and has also started rolling out the superfast broadband service to some of its customers. The company has said that it hopes to have 10 million homes and businesses by the summer of 2012. The company hopes to have four million premises completed by the end of this year.
The company has some way to catch up with Virgin on speed, if not reach. Not content will rolling out 100Mbps, the company has also announced plans for a 200Mbps service.
Business communications company Viatel, warned that just because an exchange is enabled it does not follow that all or even a majority of the street cabinets served by that exchange area will be upgraded to make faster services available to end users.
Viatel also warned that for businesses, hybrid Fibre To The Cabinet or even full fibre “superband” Fibre To The Premises services, without sufficient guarantees on reliability and quality, will struggle to run delay-sensitive applications like voice and video.