British Towns Getting Fast Fiber in 2010

BT has revealed the first exchanges that will get fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), starting from next year.

The telco's local access division Openreach will deploy FTTC at 29 exchanges across the UK from early 2010, bringing speeds of up to 40Mbps—and potentially 60Mbps—within reach of 500,000 homes and businesses.

The tech will also enable upstream speeds of up to 10Mbps.

BT had been waiting for regulator Ofcom to give return on investment guarantees on fibre before moving ahead with deployments—and earlier this month Ofcom announced telecoms providers will be able to price wholesale super-fast broadband products themselves without any regulatory intervention.

BT has pledged to spend £1.5bn by 2012 to ensure 40 per cent of UK homes and businesses—some 10 million premises—can access fibre-based services. This summer it is piloting FTTC in Muswell Hill, London and Whitchurch, Wales.

The majority of the 29 FTTC exchanges announced today are in urban locations, including eight in London, six in Greater Manchester, two in Glasgow and one each for Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. The East of England and the North West will get six locations apiece, while Yorkshire and the Humber will get three FTTC exchanges.

Two of the exchanges are in rural locations—Taffs Well in Rhondda, South Wales; and Calder Valley in West Yorkshire—and BT said it will be "looking to learn lessons"—both economic and technological—from deploying fibre in such environments.

According to a BT spokeswoman, the 29 exchanges that will get FTTC were selected for a combination of reasons.

"We consulted with CPs [communications providers] and local authorities to gauge the level of interest they would see if fibre was rolled out, and that obviously played a part. We also looked at the economics of rolling it out in a given area, and how the technology would perform in that area," she told

The next set of locations—serving a further million homes and businesses—will be announced in the autumn, BT added.

The full list of FTTC exchanges:

Chelmsford, Essex

St Albans, Hertfordshire

Watford, Hertfordshire

Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire

Leagrave, Bedfordshire

Luton, Bedfordshire

Canonbury, London

Chingford, London

Edmonton, London

Enfield, London

Highams Park, London

Tottenham, London

Thamesmead, London

Woolwich, London

Bury, Greater Manchester

Didsbury, Greater Manchester

Failsworth, Greater Manchester

Heaton Moor, Greater Manchester

Oldham, Greater Manchester

Rusholme, Greater Manchester

Belfast Balmoral

Dean, Edinburgh

Glasgow Halfway

Glasgow Western


Taffs Well, Rhondda Cynon Taf

Halifax, West Yorkshire

Pudsey, West Yorkshire

Calder Valley, West Yorkshire.

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