BT has announced that 19 more exchanges will be added to its rollout of superfast broadband, adding another 195,000 homes and businesses that will be able to access these services.
The firm announced that the new locations would be in the West Midlands, West Yorkshire, including Leeds, and even Canary Wharf in London. They are due to be enabled by spring 2014 and should offer speeds of at least 24Mbps to potential customers. Other locations include Anfield in Merseyside and Newcastle East in Tyne and Wear.
While the city locations may seem surprising, the firm said in most instances these are areas that are not too densely populated or are served by other exchanges nearby. For example, Canary Wharf is currently served by an exchange in Poplar.
The firm also intends to carry out more ‘infill’ work in 293 existing exchanges, which should increase the number of people that can access fibre around these areas by 250,000. This should take the total fibre access base to just over 19 million premises.
The announcement comes as BT continues to gain contracts under the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework for the rollout of broadband in more remote locations.
BT has won more than half of a total of 44 contacts to date, and the firm is expected to win the rest as it faces no competition from any other networks. MPs have lambasted this situation, slamming the government for failing to create competition for the funding.
A full report on the rural broadband rollout funding situation is expected soon from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which has been reviewing the situation.
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