Around 20 million homes will have access to next generation copper broadband by end of 2011

BT will extend copper broadband to 80 per cent of UK

BT says around 80 per cent of UK homes and businesses will have next generation copper broadband by the end of this year.

BT Wholesale's ADSL2+ copper broadband service, offering speeds of up to 20 Mbps, is currently used by around 2.25 million customers.

The Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) service is now available from more than 1,000 exchanges  serving more than 15.5 million user premises, while BT is upgrading around 30,000 additional lines per week.

Cameron Rejali, managing director of products at BT Wholesale, said the plans demonstrated BT's commitment "to deliver next generation services across the UK".

"WBC offers communications providers the ability to provide their broadband customers with greater control, choice and flexibility as well as higher speeds," he said.

"It supports the growing demand for high-speed broadband access to a range of online services – including TV, gaming online and multiple voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services."

BT Wholesale has reached 1,000 live fibre Ethernet nodes in the UK, giving it the largest customer-ready copper and fibre delivered network of Ethernet in the UK market.

It now plans to reach 1,090 fibre nodes by the end of 2011.

"BT’s Ethernet deployment has advanced from an early adopter to a mainstream purchase for businesses looking for a cheaper, faster and more versatile single platform solution for their wide area networking or local area networking needs," Rejali added.

WBC forms part of the UK broadband ‘mixed economy’, where businesses and households are increasingly able to choose the broadband service that suits their needs best, whether delivered over copper, fibre or mobile.

BT Wholesale’s broadband portfolio also includes an up to 8Mbps service serving more than 99 per cent of UK homes and businesses.

In addition to advanced copper broadband services, BT Wholesale also offers an enhanced WBC fibre broadband service.

BT’s £2.5bn investment to roll out fibre broadband to two thirds of the UK by the end of 2015 continues with the up to 40Mbps service now available to more than 4 million homes and businesses.

Customer trials of Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) technology – offering speeds of up to 100Mbps - are underway including the Bradwell Abbey exchange in Milton Keynes with FTTP in reach of some 11,000 end users in this exchange area.

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