Forty-one UK market towns on BT’s next super-fast broadband list

JANUARY 13, 2011 By Stephen Hardy -- BT has unveiled a list of 41 “market towns” in which it will deploy its fiber to the cabinet (FTTC) super-fast broadband infrastructure. BT plans to connect approximately 300,000 businesses and consumers with FTTC and offer broadband speeds of up to 40 Mbps by Spring 2012.

JANUARY 13, 2011 By Stephen Hardy -- BT has unveiled a list of 41 “market towns” in which it will deploy its fiber to the cabinet (FTTC) super-fast broadband infrastructure. BT plans to connect approximately 300,000 businesses and consumers with FTTC and offer broadband speeds of up to 40 Mbps by Spring 2012.

The roster of FTTC towns includes three in Scotland (Bathgate, Dalkeith, and Edinburgh Musselburgh) and one in Wales (Pontycymmer). The full list is available on BT’s website.

BT heralded the roll out, part of a £2.5 billion fiber initiative, last month when it announced it had identified up to 40 “selected market towns where premises and cabinets are suitably clustered will now be eligible for fiber deployment.” (See “BT to trial gigabit FTTP broadband.”)

However, BT now says that it is likely it will not connect everyone in these communities to its FTTC network for what it called “technical and economic reasons.” It described Openreach, its broadband deployment arm, as “very keen” to negotiate with local governments on the matter, likely looking for economic concessions that would improve the business case for reaching those left out.

“We want to extend the fibre footprint and the benefits the technology brings to more rural areas,” said Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreach. “However, in many cases, this will require a collective effort. An infrastructure project on this scale -- arguably as important to the future of the UK as the road or rail networks -- can only be done in partnership. We’re keen to talk to public and private sector organizations about how this can be achieved.”

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