BT’s Openreach division has selected Nokia and Huawei to help with upgrading the firm's network to ensure it can deliver a superfast future.
BT has already been working with the companies on the development of G.fast technology that BT is banking on to boost copper network speeds to up to 330Mbps, rather than having to replace it all with fibre.
The company hopes to have this in place for 10 million homes and businesses by 2020 to make up the bulk of its ambition to provide speeds of 100Mbps or more for 12 million homes by the same date.
Huawei and Nokia have been given the green light to start upgrading the Openreach network with the necessary infrastructure kit such as switches, modems and cabinets, and Gillingham and Cherry Hinton are the first two locations on the agenda.
Clive Selley, Openreach CEO, explained that the deal is a major milestone for the rollout of the advanced networks, and that innovations around copper could ensure high-speed broadband for millions.
“Openreach is pioneering G.fast technology because we want to get affordable ultrafast speeds to as many people as possible in the fastest possible time,” he said.
“We also want to deliver this next generation of broadband services in the most efficient and least disruptive way. So it is a testament to our world-leading R&D team that they’ve managed to define and drive new standards with operators and equipment manufacturers around the globe.”
The move comes as CityFibre announced the acquisition of infrastructure firm Redcentric, which had duct and fibre network assets in Cambridge, Portsmouth and Southampton, taking its total footprint to 40 locations.
CityFibre has touted its fibre-first approach as a clear alternative to BT Openreach, arguing that the firm provides a more future-proof network by offering far higher speeds of around 1Gbps.
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