The improvements form part of the Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) service, which is a roll out commitment by BT for providing better services to 75 per cent of UK homes and businesses by Spring of next year. The latest move is a follow up to the previous 148 exchanges that were upgraded during March of this year.
While the upgrade sounds impressive its coverage will have limited reach and focus on some specific geographical locations more than others. Areas that will see most expansion will include the West Midlands, the Liverpool-Manchester belt, the West Midlands, the south coast and the home counties, along with Northern Ireland.
The latest upgrade means that total coverage of ADSL2+ broadband will reach nearly two thirds of the British population, although BT has yet to confirm when the upgrade will take place. BT Wholesale general manager for broadband products, Emma Elshof, made the announcement on Monday at a private event in London called the BT ISP Forum.
This is the latest in an ongoing series of improvements to the BT copper-based network. The ADSL2+ enabled exchanges will be able to offer improved services from the company, which include broadband, digital TV and home phone lines. The WBC service should eventually mean that 16.8 million more UK homes and businesses will gain access to faster speeds of up to 24Mb.
Ms Elshof also spoke of further improvements being made on a rolling basis. “We are delighted to confirm this next tranche of exchanges but it doesn’t complete this year’s rollout schedule. We expect to announce more exchanges this summer as we remain fully committed to our intention to deliver WBC services to up to 75 per cent of UK homes and businesses by Spring 2011.”
BT has also been investing more resources in its fibre optic broadband network, which it claims will offer broadband speeds of up to 40Mb, throughout the UK. According to the telecoms giant, homes and businesses in parts of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire are already enjoying an improved service as a result.