Openreach upgrades 66 more exchanges for FTTC
BT Openreach has announced it will fibre up 66 more exchanges as part of its £2.5bn fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) “superfast broadband” project.
This brings to 1,077 the number of exchanges that are either already equipped to deliver “up to” 40Mbps or are expected to by 2012, leaving 4,488 ADSL-capable exchanges to go.
However, not all of more than 800,000 street cabinets that are served by BT exchanges will be upgraded, BT has said. This means some households on the exchange will not have have access to the higher speeds. BT estimates one in four premises could be left out.
BT does not disclose which street cabinets it will fibre-up.
BT said the 66 newly upgraded exchanges add nearly a million “homes passed”, and bring the total homes passed to five million.
BT also said it was researching the use of “white space”, the unused spectrum between TV broadcast frequencies, to supply wireless broadband.
The trial now under way on the Isle of Bute would show if white space will deliver high speed broadband to homes that either receive no broadband service or a sub-2Mbps service due to the length of their line.
In a statement BT said the initial results were “very promising”. with the technology being tested over long distances and challenging terrain. Live trials would start in July with about a dozen end users across the island.
These end users will have their wireless service linked back to the exchange building at Kilchattan Bay, which has a dedicated radio link to the mainland.