BT Openreach to offer 300 Mbps from spring 2012

UK network operator BT Openreach has made three announcements which together will provide a major boost to its fibre broadband project, and potentially propel the UK up the broadband league tables.

The first announcement is that it has launched its Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) service on a commercial basis to communications providers, who will be able to offer downstream speeds of up to 110Mbps to end-users in six different locations from late October, before a wider deployment.

These locations are: Ashford in Middlesex, Bradwell Abbey in Milton Keynes, Highams Park in North London, Chester South, St Austell and York.

BT Openreach also revealed that it will use FTTP technology to deliver downstream speeds of up to 300Mbps from next spring, and will make them available on a wholesale basis to other communications providers.

Thirdly, the company has also now received approval from the relevant authorities to roughly double the speeds delivered by its Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) network, which will see downstream speeds increase from up to 40Mbps to up to 80Mbps.

BT is in the process of investing £2.5bn ($3.85bn) in building a fibre broadband network that covers two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015. More than 5mn premises already have access to this network.

“These are significant announcements and good news for the UK,” said communications minister Ed Vaizey. “High-speed broadband is essential for economic growth, which is why we want the UK to have the best super-fast broadband in Europe by 2015. Improving the UK’s broadband infrastructure will help our high-tech, digital industries grow. It will ensure the UK is an attractive place to start-up and base the businesses of tomorrow.”

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