BT a year ahead of fibre schedule

BT has announced that it’s a year ahead in terms of the schedule of its super-fast fibre roll out across the UK.

The roll out of fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-to-the-premises services was originally expected to reach across two-thirds of the UK by the year 2015, and BT reckons it’ll now be finished in 2014.

In order to speed along the process, 520 more engineers have been taken on by the company, the majority of who are ex-armed forces.

Currently some 6 million premises in the UK have access to fibre, and that will be increased to 10 million next year.

BT notes that the accelerated pace of deployment will help the government achieve its ambition of having the best super-fast broadband network in Europe come 2015.

We didn’t realise that was still on the government’s official broadband shopping list, given that there isn’t much chance we’ll be able to outdo countries like the Netherlands who are already well ahead of us in broadband terms, and unlikely to stand still over the next few years.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport commented: “Superfast broadband is essential for achieving sustainable growth and it is vital that homes and businesses have access to it as soon as possible.”

“BT’s accelerated fibre roll-out plan is great news for the UK. With access to superfast broadband UK businesses will have the infrastructure they need to grow and develop new products and services. This investment means new jobs today, but also allows us to build the digital infrastructure we need for the jobs of tomorrow.”

BT also pointed out that it is set to increase the headline speed of its fastest fibre product from 100Mbps to 300Mbps in the spring of 2012. The company will also be doubling up the speed of its fibre-to-the-cabinet from 40Mbps to 80Mbps.

The downside of FTTC is that even when it rolls out in your area, you’re not guaranteed coverage, as only a percentage of the area is hooked up. The exact percentage varies from exchange to exchange.