BT fibre broadband network to pass 5m homes this month
BT Openreach has revealed its fibre optic broadband infrastructure will hit a major milestone this month.
The super-fast internet service will be available to more than five million premises by the end of June, the telecoms giant's local access network business announced.
According to BT, its fibre rollout programme is one of the fastest in the world, with coverage increasing by approximately 80,000 properties every week.
This is the equivalent of rolling out Singapore's entire fibre network every three months.
Openreach made the announcement as it unveiled a further 66 home phone exchanges that will be hooked up to fibre broadband over the coming months.
Serving almost one million homes and businesses between them, the exchanges are spread across Britain and include locations such as Inverkeithing, Stroud and Morecambe.
Although the majority will be upgraded in 2012, some areas are scheduled to get access to the technology before the end of this year.
The news comes as part of BT's plans to spend £2.5 billion on fibre, subject to there being a suitable environment for investment.
Properties covered by the improvement work will be able to take advantage of BT's fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) service, which offers download speeds of up to 40Mbps and maximum uploads of 10Mbps.
Furthermore, the organisation has previously stated it will roughly double these headline rates in 2012, with the potential for speeds to rise further in the future.
In its financial results for the quarter to March 31st, BT insisted its top FTTC download rates could climb above 100Mbps in years to come.
Liv Garfield, chief executive of Openreach, commented: "Being able to bring faster broadband speeds within reach of more than five million premises is a significant milestone and we are well on our way to passing ten million in 2012 and two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015.
"This is the largest single commercial investment in fibre-based broadband infrastructure ever undertaken in the UK."