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BT names first 29 exchanges for fibre rollout

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BT has released new details of its fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) rollout, including a list of the first 29 exchanges to be upgraded to offer faster broadband in early 2010.

Engineers will run fibre optic cables between the exchanges and street side cabinets, closer to homes and businesses. Downstream speeds will be improved to up to 40Mbit/s, with up to 10Mbit/s upstream.

About 500,000 premises are covered by the list, which concentrates on densely populated urban areas. There are six Manchester exchanges and eight in London. Areas of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast will also be in the first wave of the £1.5bn programme.

Two exchanges in Wales and West Yorkshire will serve as a testing ground for FTTC technology in rural areas. The wider rollout will follow two pilot deployments this summer in Muswell Hill in London and Whitchurch in South Glamorgan, which were announced last year.

BT's Openreach division will handle the rollout. It will be required to offer wholesale FTTC access to BT Retail's competitors on equal terms.

BT Openreach CEO Steve Robertson however maintained lobbying pressure on Ofcom to allow BT pricing control over next-generation internet access. "The regulatory picture is complex and whilst Ofcom has given us a very welcome green light, we will require a few more over the coming months," he said. "We remain confident though that Ofcom recognises the need for an environment that encourages investment."

The next set of exchanges to be upgraded will be announced in Autumn. BT plans to upgrade 40 per cent of its network - about 10 million premises - by 2012. ®

Bootnote

Here's the full list of exchanges:

  • Chelmsford - Essex
  • Watford - Hertfordshire
  • Hemel Hempstead - Hertfordshire
  • Leagrave - Bedfordshire
  • Luton - Bedfordshire
  • Canonbury - London
  • Chingford - London
  • Edmonton - London
  • Enfield - London
  • Highams Park - London
  • Tottenham - London
  • Thamesmead - London
  • Woolwich - London
  • Bury - Greater Manchester
  • Didsbury - Greater Manchester
  • Failsworth - Greater Manchester
  • Heaton Moor - Greater Manchester
  • Oldham - Greater Manchester
  • Rusholme - Greater Manchester
  • Belfast Balmoral - Belfast
  • Dean - Edinburgh
  • Glasgow Halfway - Glasgow
  • Glasgow Western - Glasgow Scotland
  • Cardiff - Cardiff
  • Taffs Well - Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Halifax - West Yorkshire
  • Pudsey - West Yorkshire
  • Calder Valley - West Yorkshire

You can check which exchange you're connected to here.

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