BT reveals first super-fast broadband sites

After the first pilots this summer, BT confirms the first areas that will be able to access super-fast fibre-optic broadband in early 2010.

BT has revealed the first locations to receive super-fast broadband.

From early 2010, BT Openreach will deploy fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology at 29 exchanges across Britain.

Areas of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Greater Manchester will be lucky enough to access speeds of up to 40Mbps, with the potential for that to increase to 60Mbps.

The majority of locations will be in urban areas, but BT has picked Calder Valley near Halifax and Taffs Well near Cardiff to test deployment in more isolated environments.

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It is all part of BT's grand plan to spend 1.5 billion on a national fibre-optic broadband service, which will allow 40 per cent - around 10 million - of UK's homes and businesses to access fibre-based services.

The FTTC technology will be piloted this summer in Muswell Hill, London and Whitchurch, Wales, connecting up to 30,000 customers ahead of the wider roll-out.

FTTC involves installing fibre between local exchanges and the cabinets located near homes and businesses.

The connections from cabinets to their targets will still be over copper, but the speeds will still be much faster than those possible over ASDL.

Last week, Ericsson demonstrated technology that would allow high-speed data transfer over copper wires.

"The wider industry will now be able to plan ahead as we will be making our services available on a wholesale basis," said Openreach chief executive Steve Robertson in a statement.

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"This approach will benefit customers as there will undoubtedly be fierce competition for their business."

He said that the regulatory picture will still be complex, although Ofcom has given BT a "welcome green light" to invest.

The full list of exchanges to receive FTTC tech are Chelmsford, St Albans, Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Leagrave, Luton, Canonbury, Chingford, Edmonton, Enfield, Highams Park, Tottenham, Thamesmead, Woolwich, Bury, Didsbury, Failsworth, Heaton Moore, Oldham, Rusholme, Belfast Balmoral, Dean, Glasgow Halway, Glasgow Western, Cardiff, Taff Well, Halifax, Pudsey and Calder Valley.

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