Be extends its reach to cover third of UK

Be this week celebrated the unbundling of its 500th exchange, meaning it has been able to extend its coverage and offer ADSL2+ high-speed broadband services to a third of the UK.

The next-generation broadband provider, which is wholly-owned by O2, plans to keep up the momentum by unbundling a further 200 exchanges by June and claims it is still on target to top 800 exchanges by the end of the summer, increasing its reach to half of the UK population.

Be plans to cater for the other 50 per cent of UK users through a wholesale deal with BT.

"We don't think of broadband as just something to throw in for free," said Matthew Key, chief executive of O2 UK.

The internet service provider (ISP) claims it was the first to offer ADSL+2 technology and that, depending of quality of the copper line and distance from the telephone exchange, it can give users services that are three times faster than BT's speediest - up to 24 meg.

Be's need for speed doesn't stop there as the company has plans to enhance its offering in the future.

"Proper broadband takes continual innovation and focus," added Key. "We are working at unbundling 200 more exchanges by June and we are already testing new technologies that will enhance the network and our speed."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.