BT Openreach includes Scotland in next fiber roll-out phase

Openreach, the arm of BT in charge of broadband services, has announced plans to extend its fiber-based infrastructure to another 178 exchanges – including 33 in Scotland. Most of these exchanges should see fiber-enabled "superfast broadband" services in 2012. The new roll out should reach more than 1.8 million homes and businesses, Openreach estimates.

Openreach, the arm of BT in charge of broadband services, has announced plans to extend its fiber-based infrastructure to another 178 exchanges – including 33 in Scotland. Most of these exchanges should see fiber-enabled "superfast broadband" services in 2012. The new roll out should reach more than 1.8 million homes and businesses, Openreach estimates.

The new exchanges bring the amount of Openreach’s commercial footprint to see fiber to approximately 80%. This footprint will cover two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014, Openreach states. Meanwhile, more than 6 million homes and businesses already have access to either fiber to the home (FTTH) or fiber to the cabinet (FTTC), the company asserts.

The new roll out will reach such major cities in Scotland as Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

Said Olivia Garfield, CEO of Openreach, “We continue to make tremendous strides with our fiber program. Super-fast broadband is already within reach of more than six million premises today and we are on track to pass ten million premises next year.

“Our ambitions do not stop there. We will make fiber available to two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014 and we want to go even further. It is important that as many premises as possible have access to fiber and so we will bid for the BDUK [Broadband Delivery UK] funds that are available. Our experience in deploying fiber networks at scale and the fact that our open, wholesale network allows competition to thrive in an area makes Openreach an ideal partner for these local/regional broadband initiatives.”

Openreach says the current average downstream speed on its fiber-enabled broadband network is 6.8 Mbps, based on the Ofcom Broadband Speeds Report issued this past July. However, Openreach says its mainstream fiber broadband offering can deliver up to 40 Mbps, a top-end speed that it will roughly double in 2012. It also will offer 300-Mbps services in certain locations next spring.

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