Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/06/bt_upgrades/

BT names 63 more exchanges for fibre upgrades

Rollout focuses on the south east

By Christopher Williams

Posted in Broadband, 6th January 2010 11:42 GMT

BT has revealed its next wave of exchange upgrades, as it accelerates the rollout of faster broadband.

As with the two previous lists, there's a strong emphasis on densely populated areas, where return on the investment is likely to be highest. This time, 31 out of the 63 exchanges are classified by BT as located in the south east of England or London.

The newly-announced upgrades are scheduled for completion by summer this year. Most will offer VDSL2+, which will involve laying fibre from the exchange buildings to a new generation of street-side cabinets.

The cabinets, whose appearance has caused controversy during trials in Muswell Hill, will in turn connect to homes and businesses via existing copper and aluminium wiring. Although theoretically capable of 40Mbit/s downstream, such fibre-to-the-cabinet services are in reality expected to offer between 10 and 20Mbit/s.

Some of the exchanges in BT's latest list are to be upgraded to fibre-to-the-home, completely replacing old metal lines. Customers connected to them will receive about 100Mbit/s downstream. A BT spokeswoman said the firm could not provide a breakdown of which of the 63 exchanges will get the superior technology.

BT has pledged £1.5bn to upgrade exchanges serving 40 per cent of premises nationally by 2012. Out of 10 million, it's planned that 2.5 million will be connected via fibre-to-the-home.

The upgrade work will be carried out by BT's Openreach division, and BT competitors will also be able to offer faster broadband once it is complete. ®

Bootnote

The latest list in full:

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