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BT fibre town winners face six-month delay in broadband plan

BT fibre town winners face six-month delay in broadband planResidents of Whitchurch gagging for some fibre from BT are in for a wait; rollout of fibre optic broadband line to the Hampshire village is not thought to be completed until the end of July.

Whitchurch, which won the BT Race to Infinity competition in 2011, was thought to be completed in time for residents to start ordering BT Infinity by January this year. It’s now thought that the upgrade won’t be completed until July.

The Whitchurch exchange upgrade (which serves 2460 connections) will first see FTTC (Fibre-to-the-Cabinet) and later FTTH (Fibre-to-the-Home) (aka FTTP/Fibre-to-the-Premises) lines. When live, these will provide speeds of up to 76Mbps and 100Mbps respectively.

A statement from BT, sent to Whitchurch residents reads thus:

“There has been a slippage of a couple of weeks since we last wrote to you on 20th March, primarily due to the works on the long spine feeding Whitchurch. With a major civil engineering programme like this it is difficult to be precise with dates.

The latest update is that the cabinets on London Street, Winchester Road, Church Street and Fairfield are stood and we hope they will be live during May.

The cabinets on Andover Rd, Freefolk Priors and Litchfield Road involve network rearrangement and are due to go live at the end of June.

We will complete the FTTC conversions before we deliver FTTP and Exchange only lines, and we are on track to deliver both for the end of July.”

So while some residents should be able to get signed up this month, it’s looking like the full fat 100Mbps FTTH services won’t be rocking and rolling until a bit later.

As well as providing speeds of up to 100Mbps in 2012, BT has announced that FTTH/P lines on its network should be getting a speed boost up to 300Mbps in early 2013.