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BT: No steam ahead after 10 million connections

After BT’s celebratory announcement this morning that the group had connected 10 million UK homes and businesses to its next-gen Infinity fibre network, we caught up with BT to see how this affected the company’s plans for future rollout.

Despite the 10 million milestone arriving months ahead of schedule, a BT spokesperson told us that this hasn’t changed plans to connect two-thirds of the UK to Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre-to-the-Home lines by the end of 2014.

“We’re still on track for 2014. We don’t want to be setting any new targets now despite being ahead of schedule.”

While 10 million homes have been connected to a mixture of FTTC and FTTH lines, part of BT’s £2.5 billion broadband plan involves preparing for the launch of a 300Mbps speed upgrade, due to begin in 2013, and the provision of an on-demand program for those customers with FTTC lines.

Fibre to the cabinet will run a fibre optic line from the nearest exchange to a cabinet on your street; from there, the so-called ‘last mile’ connection, normally a copper phone line, will connect your home to the cabinet.

Residential and business customers will be given the option to upgrade this last mile, replacing the copper with a fibre-optic line, thereby making the line fully Fibre-to-the-Home.

BT has said that ISPs using its fibre network will need to pay for this last mile, and decide how, if at all, the cost will be passed on to customers. BT has yet to announce its own pricing plans for FTTC-to-FTTH upgrades.

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