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October 13, 2008

BT reveals super-broadband test sites

by David Allen

BT has announced the locations where its new fibre optic network will first be installed next year.

Muswell Hill in North London and Whitchurch in South Glamorgan have been chosen for the pilot tests of BT’s next generation broadband network in summer 2009.

30,000 BT customers in the chosen regions will be able to trial broadband speeds of up to 40Mbps through fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC).

FTTC combines fibre optic technology with traditional copper telephone wires to increase internet speeds.

High speed internet is sent to street level cabinets via fibre optic cables, whilst copper cables connect up the cabinets to individual households.

It is the technology that BT plans to install most widely in its £1.5 billion upgrade of the UK’s broadband network.

David Campbell, director of next generation access at BT Openreach, said the pilot sites were chosen in conjunction with regional development agencies, devolved authorities and similar organisations.

The chosen locations allow BT to test the new technology on both urban and rural networks.

Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) tests are currently running in Ebbsfleet, Kent.

FTTH runs fibre optic cables direct to individual households, completely replacing copper telephone wires. It is capable of speeds up to 100Mbps.

BT plans to roll out its FTTC network to a wider market early in 2010.

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