BT to launch "super-fast" broadband
BT has announced plans to provide "fibre-based, super-fast broadband" to up to 10 million homes by 2012.
The investment forms part of the firm's wider aim of delivering "next generation broadband services nationwide". Ian Livingston, chief executive at BT, said: "This is a bold step by BT and we need others to be just as bold...Our aim is that urban and rural areas alike will benefit from our investment."
Given that industry regulator Ofcom recently introduced a new code of conduct for internet service providers to follow regarding clarity for consumers on broadband speed, BT will be entering discussions with Ofcom to ensure the right conditions are in place for the programme to progress.
This version of broadband will enable customers to run multiple applications that are "bandwith-hungry", meaning families can watch different high definition films at the same time as others are gaming or working using complex graphics programs.
BT intends to invest around £1.5 billion in total on the programme - a total that includes the company's current expenditure plans for fibre deployment.
Michael Phillips, product director at broadbandchoices.co.uk, welcomed the news. "[This] latest move from BT clearly demonstrates its commitment to bring the UK’s broadband users up to speed."
However, he warns that not all customers will receive the optimum speed: "This initiative aims to provide a national service but it should be noted that a significant number of customers will actually get 60Mb/s, with the full 100Mb/s service only available to new build properties."
Vincent Potier, managing director of Vonage UK, was even more sceptical: "These factors indicate that lesser populated areas will surely miss out on the benefits of a high speed network."
Michael Taylor, Vonage UK’s general counsel, added: "Ofcom did not grasp the nettle when regulating BT’s copper network - now is the opportunity for Ofcom to put in place a new framework which will ensure true choice for consumers."
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