BT has identified the next 500 exchanges it will upgrade to offer symmetrical digital subscriber line (SDSL) services.
The exchanges have been selected according to the level of demand for SDSL services, and where there is a high density of small and medium-sized businesses in range of the exchange, BT said.
The first 500 will be upgraded over six months starting from April 2005. The next phase will begin in August, when a further 500 exchanges will be chosen.
SDSL allows users to send and receive data at high speeds, which BT said makes it a more suitable form of broadband for small businesses, remote office workers and teleworkers. SDSL also supports applications such as virtual private networks, video conferencing and voice over IP.
When the roll-out is complete a total of 1,300 exchanges will be enabled for SDSL. BT said this will bring the high speed service within reach of two-thirds of UK businesses.
BT Wholesale products director Bruce Stanford said: "This represents a huge commitment on the part of BT to further enhance our wholesale broadband offering by accelerating the roll-out of SDSL.
"The wider geographic availability of our wholesale SDSL products will allow more service providers to meet the needs of the growing proportion of smaller businesses, remote office and teleworkers that require business-class broadband services, as well as generating new revenue streams from the introduction of value-added services."
Service providers will have the opportunity to nominate their chosen exchanges for the second phase of the roll-out programme up until the end of June 2005.
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