BT to bring FTTx network to additional 1.2 million premises

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BT Openreach (NYSE: BT) on Wednesday outlined its plans to connect its growing Fiber to the X (FTTx) network to over 1.2 million additional new premises, bringing its total footprint to about 19 million premises.

Openreach said the latest buildout will serve customers with fiber-based broadband out of 99 telephone exchanges "before or during spring next year." These exchanges will serve about 600,000 premises, the majority of which are located in Scotland, the Midlands and the northeastern and northwestern UK.

It will also deploy fiber-based broadband to another 600,000 premises from what it says will be the result of "additional 'infill' work in previously announced areas."

BT said it will bring fiber services to about 1,700 exchanges in areas throughout the UK, which is where most of its commercial fiber footprint is. Complementing its own organic efforts, BT is also identifying additional telephone exchanges it will equip with fiber with its Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) partners.

The service provider said its FTTx network currently reaches over 13 million premises via a mix of both Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) and Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC).

Mike Galvin, managing director, NGA, Openreach, said in a release that the company is on target to reach its ambitious goal of enabling "two thirds of UK premises with fiber during Spring 2014--at least 18 months ahead of the original timetable."

BT saw gains in both its wholesale and consumer FTTX sales in fiscal third quarter. During the quarter, BT's retail division added 200,000 fiber broadband customers and 21,000 BT Vision IPTV customers. Openreach said the wholesale services it sells to competitors such as TalkTalk (LSE: TALK) are now available to 13 million premises, up 1.3 million in the quarter.

Beginning this spring, Openreach will make its FTTP services commercially available on demand in areas where FTTC facilities have been deployed.

Last month, BT began a trial of its 220/20 Mbps Generic Ethernet Access (GEA) FTTP service in four of its telephone exchange areas.

For more:
- see the release

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