BT Wholesale has confirmed a further 199 exchanges which will bring its Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) service to more than 18 million UK homes and businesses by Spring 2011. This latest tranche of WBC exchanges follows the 305 exchanges that were revealed in April 2010. This brings the total number of exchanges named in the 2010/11 roll-out programme to 504, representing a further 17 per cent of UK homes and businesses that will be able to benefit from advanced copper broadband speeds of up to 20Mb/s by Spring 2011.
Exchanges serving more than 55 per cent of UK homes and business have already been enabled for WBC. The service is available from 859 exchanges capable of serving 14 million end customers. Subject to demand, BT Wholesale intends to increase this footprint to 75 per cent by Spring 2011 (serving some 20 million end customers).
Some of the latest exchanges to be added into the 2010/11 WBC enablement plan include Ashby de la Zouch and Earl Shilton in the East Midlands; Dunoon and Prestwick in Scotland; Bradford-on-Avon and Warminster in the South West; Holborn and Monument in London and Balby and Ilkley in Yorkshire & Humber.
BT Wholesale is also trialling a priority class of service on WBC and WBMC (the managed service variant of WBC) that supports business VoIP applications. The service will allow communications providers to better manage their customer networks based on key SLA measures of latency, packet loss and jitter, resulting in enhanced levels of reliability for business VoIP. The trial will run until Autumn 2010, and will be followed by commercial service introduction in 2011.
In January 2010, BT Wholesale added a fibre access option to its WBC family of services providing BT Wholesale’s communications provider customers – and in turn their end customers – with even more choice and product flexibility. The rollout of fibre WBC services is being expanded in line with Openreach’s fibre rollout programme which is set to reach two-thirds of UK homes and businesses by 2015.
Openreach has already passed 1.5m UK homes and businesses with its fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) service, which delivers speeds of up to 40Mb/s. A trial of fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP), delivering speeds of up to 100Mb/s, is also underway in Bradwell Abbey in Milton Keynes, with Highams Park in London joining the trial at a later date.
BT Wholesale already offers broadband from exchanges serving more than 99 per cent of UK homes and businesses, offering a choice of fixed, up to 8Mb/s, up to 20Mb/s and up to 40Mb/s services, with FTTP 100Mb/s customer trials underway.
Sian Baldwin, BT Wholesale’s director of broadband and content services, is available to talk to you about the changes the industry is witnessing in the broadband market and what BT Wholesale is doing to help meet the challenge of the UK’s new mixed broadband economy.