BT to extend fiber-based broadband to Scotland and Cornwall

BT (NYSE: BT) is dedicating about £2.5 billion ($3.92 billion) to bring Fiber-to-the-X-based broadband in its Scotland serving area.

Set to cover about 277,000 premises, BT will begin making upgrades in 2012 covering 34 exchange areas, including Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

In total, BT will upgrade 178 telephone exchanges with fiber-based broadband most of which will be enabled in 2012, covering over 1.8 million homes and businesses. It will upgrade 161 exchanges in Scotland with the remaining 17 of the exchanges centered in Cornwall, England as part of its Superfast Cornwall project.

Similar to its network rollout in the UK, the Scotland deployment will incorporate a mixture of both Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Fiber to the Premises (FTTP). Previously, BT announced plans to boost the top speed of its FTTC offering from 40 Mbps to 80 Mbps over the coming months. Likewise, it plans to upgrade the speed of its FTTP offering to 300 Mbps in 2012.  

The buildouts in Cornwall and Scotland are a major contribution to BT's effort to update about 80 percent of its commercial fiber footprint covering two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014.

Olivia Garfield, CEO of Openreach, said that "Super-fast broadband is already within reach of more than six million premises today and we are on track to pass ten million premises next year," adding that they "will make fiber available to two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014  and we want to go even further."

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