BT Openreach has announced that it will start rolling out fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) broadband in nine UK locations to help SMEs get online with super-high speeds of up to 1Gbps.
The rollouts will cover Bath, Bradford, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester and Salford, along with three London areas, Holborn, Westminster and the City.
The rollout will focus on high streets, science and business parks and other high-density business areas currently without high-speed internet services.
Inner city areas often lack high-speed broadband services for SMEs as it is expensive and time-consuming for operators to install the necessary equipment. Generally only larger firms can afford the cost of dedicated lines.
Openreach’s move could therefore prove highly beneficial for SMEs struggling to get high-speed internet connections.
BT said the FTTP services are part of a programme of high-speed broadband rollouts to businesses, with a goal of taking FTTP to two million premises, and its G.Fast trials to 10 million premises.
BT expects the new networks to be delivered over the next nine months, after which providers such as BT Retail, Sky, TalkTalk and others will be able to sell on services to businesses in these areas.
Recently appointed Openreach CEO Clive Selley explained that the push of FTTP to businesses has been helped by recent trials of new deployment technologies.
“Openreach has been trialling new deployment methods for FTTP in Bradford and I am pleased to say the trials have progressed very well. Now that we have proved the new techniques we will begin our wider rollout, starting with these nine new locations,” he said.
He added that the work will have a knock-on benefit for consumers as the fibre lines will pass many homes, helping boost services again.
BT has touted the move as being for the good of potential customers, but it comes amid new challenges from the likes of CityFibre and Hyperoptic in the fibre broadband market, which will no doubt have played a part in BT’s plans.
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