BT has achieved another major milestone in its ongoing fiber-based broadband initiative, announcing that its last mile fiber network now passes over 19 million homes and businesses.
By reaching this milestone, the service provider said that about two-thirds of UK-based premises can order faster broadband speeds from BT and other competitive service providers such as BskyB and Talk Talk.
Initially, BT said it would cover 19 million premises with fiber by the end of 2015. However, it passed that goal in March of this year, about 21 months ahead of schedule.
The vast majority of the footprint being was enabled was by BT under its commercial plan, with the remainder being enabled in partnership with the UK government.
Today, fiber-based broadband services are available to about 73 percent of premises. BT said its fiber footprint will grow "considerably in the year ahead" as it continues its commercial rollout and enables further areas with the assistance of the public sector.
It added that the majority of its new build work will be conducted in conjunction with 44 local partnerships the telco struck as part of the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) program. Work is underway in all 44 contract areas and more than 630,000 largely rural premises have been passed with fiber to date.
BT's work is contributing to the overall growth of the fiber-based broadband space. According to a new ABI Research report, fiber-based broadband grew 29 percent from 2012 to 126.6 million subscribers in 2013. The research firm has forecast that by 2019, fiber-based broadband subscriptions will grow to 265 million subscribers, with a CAGR of 11.7 percent.
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