BT expands 20Mbps broadband reach


BT has pledged to extend its next generation copper broadband to 80 per cent of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2011.

The communications firm today announced an additional 20 million premises would have access to the service by the end of the year.

Currently, 15.5 million end user premises can gain access to BT's ADSL2+ copper broadband service, known as Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) - which can provide speeds of up to 20Mbps.

"WBC offers communications providers the ability to provide their broadband customers with greater control, choice and flexibility as well as higher speeds," said Cameron Rejali, managing director for products at BT Wholesale.

"It supports the growing demand for high-speed broadband access to a range of online services including TV, gaming online and multiple voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services."

Other communications providers can use BT's copper lines to offer services to customers.

Soon, other ISPs such as Sky and TalkTalk may be able to access them for cheaper, if Ofcom proposals for BT to lower unbundling prices go ahead.

Today, BT also announced 1,000 live fibre Ethernet nodes were active in the UK and it planned to have another 90 set up by the end of the year.

"BT's Ethernet deployment has advanced from an early adopter to a mainstream purchase for businesses looking for a cheaper, faster and more versatile single platform solution for their wide area networking or local area networking needs," Rejali added.

Read on for our chat with the person now in charge of BT's fibre broadband rollout, new Openreach chief executive (CEO) Olivia Garfield.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.